We are delighted to announce that Special Olympics Sandwell, a group of volunteers based in Sandwell, West Midlands, have been awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. This is the highest award a local voluntary group can receive in the UK and is equivalent to an MBE.
Special Olympics Sandwell is one of 244 local charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year.  And is a wonderful reminder 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.  

Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse. They include volunteer groups from across the UK, including: a rural support group for farmers in Shropshire; a community magazine addressing isolation in the Western Isles; a running club engaging all ages in County Tyrone; a film academy and community hub based in South Wales, and a food bank in Greater London feeding vulnerable individuals and providing training opportunities.

Representatives of Special Olympics Sandwell will receive the award crystal and certificate from John Crabtree OBE, Lord-Lieutenant of the West Midlands later this summer. In addition, two volunteers from Special Olympics Sandwell will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2023, along with other recipients of this year’s Award. 

Norma Hyde, the Chair of Special Olympics Sandwell, on behalf of the Committee, said: “I am absolutely delighted that our group’s work has been recognised with this great honour. We started in 1983 and I would like to thank all our volunteers, both past and present, for their hard work throughout almost 40 years. 

“Our wonderful volunteers are very dedicated throughout the year, supporting our amazing athletes in their numerous sports. Volunteers are committed to help them with their weekly training sessions to enable them to enter annual competitions. Our committee of volunteers work hard behind the scenes to make it all to happen and all our volunteers are extremely committed to enabling our athletes to fulfil their true sporting potential.” 

Colin Dyer, CEO of Special Olympics GB said: “On behalf of everyone at Special Olympics GB, huge congratulations to Norma and everyone involved in Special Olympics Sandwell for being selected for such a prestigious award. It’s wonderful to see all their hard work, commitment and passion acknowledged in such a fantastic way.” 

If you’d like more information on the recipients and the award, or how to make a nomination for next year’s award, details can be found HERE