RIGHT Royal celebrations were the order of the day at the Lions Clubs after it was handed a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
Dubbed the MBE of voluntary organisations, the honour was bestowed to the charity on behalf of its dedicated volunteers across seven clubs in Solihull known as Zone C – who raise funds at events held across the borough for projects locally and internationally.
The clubs donated £10, 000 to the Men’s Shed project at the Marie Curie Hospice in Solihull and they held the Knowle Fun Run last month.
During the year they organise numerous carnivals, health screenings, pensioner parties, beer festivals and they organise for Father Christmas to visit the borough in the lead up to Christmas.
Representatives from the clubs in Balsall Common, Birmingham Exhibition, Castle Bromwich, Knowle and Dorridge, Marston Green, Shirley and Solihull attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.
Representatives of Zone C will receive the award from John Crabtree, Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands later this summer.
Zone C’s Chair Person, Lion Jaap de Jonge said: “The first Lions started in Solihull 50 years ago to do their bit for the community and has grown to seven clubs over the years, covering the whole borough from Balsall Common to Castle Bromwich.
“The 150 people who selflessly spend their time and also some of their own money, in running this organisation for the benefit of their fellow people.
“They beaver away in the background, and they are now properly recognised for the hard work they do.
“I cannot think of a more worthy recipient of this high honour.”
Zone C is one of 281 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities.
It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.
Winners are announced each year on June 2 – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.
Award winners this year include volunteers helping people overcome mental health problems through sport, volunteers using caravans as mobile cafe/information centres in geographically remote locations and another group mentoring children who have a parent in prison.