Trustees and volunteers from Emmaus Salford have been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

Emmaus Salford is a registered charity which supports formerly homeless people by offering a home, meaningful work in a social enterprise and an opportunity to get back on their feet again.

The charity was established some eleven years ago, when a group made up of trustees and volunteers was formed. After much hard work the group found premises large enough to accommodate 28 companions and two shops. This is where the charity generates the income needed to sustain its operations today.

Valerie Burgoyne, Chairman of Emmaus Salford for the past nine years, said: “I am thrilled to receive this award on behalf of the trustees and volunteers who have worked tirelessly over the past eleven years to build an Emmaus community in Salford. Without their drive, dedication hard work we would have no community, companions or staff and I owe them a debt of gratitude for their perseverance in working so hard to realise a dream. This award is for them and it is wonderful to have our voluntary work recognised.”

Ian Orrell and Janet Davies, trustees from Emmaus Salford attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace on 24 May where they met other winners of this year’s award. Emmaus Salford will receive the award from the Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester at an event at Gorton Monastery in July.

Emmaus Salford is one of 193 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of awards given to groups this year is slightly higher than last year, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to tackle community challenges.

Sir Martyn Lewis, The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Committee Chair, former broadcast journalist, said: “I warmly congratulate all of the inspirational voluntary groups who have been rewarded for their community work with a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The judging panel for this year’s awards were struck by the quality and breadth of all the successful groups. The thousands of volunteers who give up spare time to help others in their community and to help solve problems demonstrate the very best of democracy in action.”

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work in their communities. The awards were created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and winners are announced each year on 2nd June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

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