Express & Star

We feature the best of the voluntary sector as they receive royal honours

It was a day of celebration for community groups from across the region as they received their royal honours.


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The Birmingham Hippodrome welcomed community and voluntary groups from across the Black Country on Sunday for the annual ceremony for the King's Award for Voluntary Service, the highest honour a voluntary organisation can receive.

The Lord-Lieutenant for the West Midlands, Sir John Crabtree OBE presented the awards and certificates to each group on stage, with 10 organisations from Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton each getting a tribute video and their moment on stage to receive their awards.

Receiving awards were Champions Community Trust from Dudley, Cape Community Care Day Centre, New Beginnings Community and Student Voice from Sandwell, Cresswell Wanderers and Midland Freewheelers - Blood Bikes from Walsall and Parent & Carer Support Group, Wolverhampton Alz Café, Wolverhampton Samaritans, Wolverhampton Wrestling Club from Wolverhampton.

Sir John Crabtree praised the groups for their achievements, saying: "The organisations this year have excelled in offering services to others that simply would not exist if it weren’t for the volunteers who are passionate about making a difference to so many lives.”

Our Express & Star photographer was present on the day to capture the big moment for many of the groups as they arrived at Birmingham Hippodrome:

The current and new deputy lieutenants of the West Midlands pose before the ceremony
Among the new deputy lieutenants are Pauline Black, lead singer of the Selecter.
Members of the Parent and carer support group from Walsall
The Champions community trust from Dudley get ready for the ceremony
Melissa Bentley and Vicky Mitchell from Cresswell Wanderers FC from Walsall
Kerry and Barry Tipper arrive to represent Cresswell Wanderers FC
Lorraine and Geoff Gough from Midlands Freewheelers
It's a uniform look for Midland Freewheelers
New Beginnings from Sandwell were represented by Carrie Pearson and Peter Spence
New Beginnings volunteers prepare for the event
BIRMINGHAM COPYRIGHT TIM STURGESS EXPRESS STAR 14/04/2024 Kings award for voluntary service at the Birmingham Hippodrome. New Beginnings volunteers..
Student Voice from Sandwell had Christine Handy-Rivett, JJ O'Meara, Grace Popoola and Kerry Whitehouse in attendance
Student Voice members come together for a photo
All attendees were given a souvenir guide to the event
Members of Wolverhampton Samaritans pose ahead of the ceremony
Wolverhampton Samaritans representatives David Marsh and Jenna Wilkins
Wolverhampton Alz Cafe members
The full team from Wolverhampton Alz Cafe get ready for the event
Members of Wolverhampton Wrestling club arrive at the Hippodrome
Wolverhampton Wrestling club head coach Ranjit Singh
The Birmingham Hippodrome was packed out for the ceremony
The Mayors of the region were in attendance
The Mayor of Wolverhampton Councillor Michael Hardacre prepares to see groups from his city receive their awards
It was a time for organisations to celebrate their achievements
Organisations from across the West Midlands were in attendance
The Lord Lieutenant Sir John Crabtree OBE presents the awards
Carrie Pearson and Peter Spence receive the award for New Beginnings
It's the big moment for Champions Community Trust
Every award winner was welcomed to the stage to music and rapturous applause
Jenna Wilkins and David March accept the award for Wolverhampton Samaritans
Melissa Bentley and Vicky Mitchell share a joke with the Lord Lieutenant as they accept Cresswell Wanderers award
The Shireland Collegiate academy dance crew put on a show during the ceremony
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