23rd Sep, 2018

Four of Coventry's most dedicated charities win Queen's award

Felix Nobes 4th Jun, 2018 Updated: 4th Jun, 2018

FOUR OF Coventry’s most dedicated charities have been officially recognised by the Queen.

Langar Aid, The Enterprise Club for the Disabled, Coventry Resource Centre for the Blind and the Positive Youth Foundation have been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

The award is the UK’s highest honour for charity organisations.

Langar Aid is an offshoot of international charity Khalsa Aid and was formed in Coventry four years ago to provide relief to vulnerable people and communities.

It began its mission in the city but has since expanded its influence nationwide.

The term ‘Langar’ is used to describe the Sikh philosophy of a free kitchen where food is provided to all people, regardless of background, ethnicity, religious beliefs, gender or social status.

It provides hot meals to the homeless, isolated and vulnerable.

It has now announced it will establish a national headquarters in Coventry to officially open on June 9.

The HQ will be on historic ground in Spon End near the 14th century Spon Gate and the Chapel of St Christopher and St James.

Avtar Kaur, project manager for Langar Aid, said: “It’s our idea of bringing people together which has benefited Coventry.

“We are not just a Sikh based group, we are seeing everyone come together from every religion. There is no criteria to help people.”

Positive Youth Foundation (PYF) engages with young people, encouraging artistic and sporting achievement while educating and providing support for more than 3,000 of the city’s kids.

PYF was highly praised for mobilising the city’s young people during the bid for UK City of Culture 2021 – the success of which was attributed to the youth and diversity of the campaign.

It is the lead organisation in the Coventry Youth Partnership, formed over the past 12 months.

Amy Foster, trustee at PYF, added: “I am thrilled and honoured for PYF to be receiving the Queens Award for Voluntary Service.

“The staff and volunteers work tirelessly to enable young people to lead healthier lives and to make better choices for their future.

“As a former youth work professional, I fully understand the need to support young people through challenges that society presents.”

The Enterprise Club, based in Avon Street, Stoke, offers a wide range of leisure time activities to disabled people in the city and recently launched a fundraising appeal as part of its 80th anniversary.

It was founded in 1938 and its aim is to improve the quality of life for disabled people.

It needs £100,000 a year to operate as it receives no public funding. This includes the running of accessible buses for its 150 members.

Clive Benfield, its president, said: “We are absolutely thrilled and delighted to get this award in the year of our 80th anniversary.

“It is a testament to all the volunteers and supporters who provide sporting and social activities that promote inclusion and reduce isolation.”

Coventry Resource Centre for the Blind (CRCB) has been operating from its base in Earlsdon since April 2010 and offers a wide range of opportunities to learn new skills, socialise and take part in a range of activities.

It has recently announced it is expanding with the purchase of a former care home to use to boost services.

Currently it supports around 150 people each week but it hopes to reach more people.

Co-founder Rosie Brady, who lives with advanced macular degeneration, said: “We are so proud to have been nominated for this honour. The Resource Centre is a busy place full of laughter that truly transforms the lives of so many who come to us for support.”

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