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Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service presented to The Way Youth Zone – 30th October 2022

The Way Youth Zone, a Wolverhampton-based charity for young people, was presented with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Award this weekend for its highly successful Mentoring Programme, which has seen 290 young people benefit from the support of 315 mentors since its launch in 2017. 

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award a local voluntary group can receive in the UK and is equivalent to an MBE. 

John O’Connell and Pheonix McCracken, a mentor and mentee respectively, were presented with the award crystal and certificate from John Crabtree, OBE, Lord-Lieutenant of the West Midlands on behalf of The Way’s team of mentors at the award ceremony, held at the Birmingham Hippodrome on Sunday 30th October. In addition, two volunteers from The Way will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2023, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.  

The Way Youth Zone’s Mentoring Programme provides young people with one-to-one support, as well as facilitating group mentoring sessions, working within schools and providing young people with the opportunity to train as peer mentors. 

It places a strong emphasis on the diversity and uniqueness of each young person they support, as well as the mentors who volunteer on the programme. There are no restrictions on the reason they feel mentoring would benefit them, only a commitment to supporting every young person referred as individuals. 

Head of Youth Services, Rebecca Bunger, said “We are so proud of the work our mentors do to support our young people. This award reinforces the significant contribution our volunteers make to every individual who is referred. A special thank you to the Steve Morgan Foundation whose funding for the programme has made this possible.” 

The Way is one of 244 local charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. This work, along with others from across the UK, reminds us of all the ways in which fantastic volunteers are contributing to their local communities and working to make life better for those around them.  

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by local volunteer groups to benefit their communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate The Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Recipients are announced each year on 2nd June, the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation. 

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