COVENTRY’S Sikh Union has received a prestigious Queen’s Award in honour of the group’s volunteering efforts in the community.
The charity has been as a recipient of the award – the highest honour given to volunteer groups – in recognition of its work with projects supporting vulnerable children and adults locally, nationally and internationally.
Palvinder Singh Chana, chairman of the Sikh Union Coventry, and honorary secretary Harbans Singh Gumman attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace on earlier this year where they met the Queen and other members of the Royal Family – enjoying a particularly good conversation with Prince Charles.
Expressing his excitement at the charity receiving the award, Palvinder Singh Chana said: “We are honoured and delighted to have been recognised for the voluntary work which our organisation has been carrying out for over thirty years.
“I express my whole hearted appreciation and gratitude to all members of Sikh Union for their tireless commitment in organising various events throughout the year and raising much needed funds.
“My sincere thanks to all our sponsors, volunteers and organisations for their support in all aspects of our work; and I urge members of our local community to join us in making further advancements in our charitable work locally and overseas.”
Created in 2002 to honour the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, the Queen’s Award is of equivalent status to an MBE, with winners announced each year on the anniversary of her coronation – June 2.
Recent beneficiaries of the Sikh Union Coventry’s hard work include the Children’s Appeal funds at the University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW), and the Lord Mayors charity for the restoration of a local church.
The charity was also instrumental in saving the Daimler Green Community Centre in Radford from closure – ensuring a place of recreation and activity for the local community.
Beneficiaries further afield have also included eye camps and organisations which provide prosthetic limbs in northern India and water borehole projects in Kenya.
Sikh Union will receive the award later this summer from Mr. Simon Topman, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Midlands.
Speaking ahead of the ceremony, Mr Topman said: “Sikh Union Coventry are an outstanding organisation and an example to us all of what can be achieved through volunteering.
“Not only do they offer massive and vital support overseas, providing eye treatment which we take for granted but which are truly life enhancing in India and Africa, but equally making a massive contribution to Coventry.
“Their sports day which attracts over ten thousand visitors and the work they are doing in their still relatively new community centre (Daimler Green) is bringing back the community spirit to an area where many thought it was lost.
“As an example of generosity, hard work, determination and vision, they are one of the most deserving of this award that I have ever come across.
“I shall watch with interest their future development without any doubt that it will be as inspiring as their past.”