23rd Sep, 2021

Coventry's EmployabilityUK receives prestigious Queen's Award for Voluntary Service

COVENTRY-based EmployabilityUK has received the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) for ‘being a beacon of best practice in its mission to help the next generation find and achieve their true potential and employment’.

Its volunteers inspire young people with the right attitude and aptitude and provide them with the skills they need to succeed at work.

They offer face-to-face ‘Employability Skills’ workshops to year 12 students in Coventry, a ‘360 Transformation in 360 minutes’ programme for schools, colleges and community venues and an ‘Inspiring Young Birmingham’ programme to inspire young leaders and identify 1,500 in conjunction with the Commonwealth Games 2022.

Some of EmployabiliyUK’s volunteers were once clients and the scheme is continually adding new services and receives high levels of success and satisfaction for the people it helps.

The organisation has successfully made connections with large local companies which offer support and Coventry Building Society, which nominated EmployabilityUK for the award, has seen first-hand the real impact the project’s work has after partnering with it for the past six years.

Anna Cuskin, Coventry Building Society senior manager, said: “Together we’ve supported over 750 Coventry-based Year 12 students.

“Seeing the life-changing impact the programmes have is humbling, and not just in terms of teaching practical skills, but confidence, self-belief, and aspiration too.”

EmployabilityUK founder and chief executive, Diane Vernon said everyone was ‘over the moon’ to be recognised.

“Our volunteers are the very fabric of our charity, and all that we are has been shaped by their expertise. Indeed,

“We achieved our very first pilot programme with just two employees and a team of 30 volunteers.”

“With over 1,000 volunteers involved over the years, we now have more than 100 volunteers actively working with us, and it’s wonderful that this award recognises their passion, dedication, and most of all the very real and practical difference they make to each and every young person we connect with.

“I never imagined we’d receive something as special as a Queen’s Award, but it’s further galvanised our belief in all that we do.

“I know that it will do for us, what we do for young people – empower us to move forwards in a much bolder way.”

The Lord-Lieutenant of the West Midlands, John Crabtree OBE, said: “Through the activities of the West Midlands Lieutenancy, I come across many people providing amazing support and giving their time to help others.

“It is heart-warming to see so many of these organisations gain the recognition they deserve.

“I am so grateful for everything they do and am thrilled we can praise their efforts through the QAVS Honour.”

He added a lot of the organisations had faced huge challenges in the the way they supported their communities through the pandemic last year.

“It is truly inspirational to hear the lengths and imaginative ways the volunteers have gone to in order to provide what is often a life line to so many who are vulnerable and in need.”

Visit www.wmlieutenancy.org for more on the awards and how to nominate.

Visit employabilityuk.org or call 0345 601 5551 for more on voluntary opportunities or how businesses can get involved with the scheme.

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