The British Muslim Heritage Centre in Whalley Range, south Manchester is one of a record number of 27 Greater Manchester voluntary groups to receive a Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service. This award recognises best practice in volunteering work, and is the equivalent of getting an MBE
Naeem Hassan and Saima Alvi collected an engraved, commemorative crystal trophy and a certificate signed by Her Majesty the Queen at a special ceremony at Gorton Monastery. They were presented by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Warren Smith and the Vice Lord-Lieutenant, Paul Griffiths DL.
Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service was created over a decade ago by Her Majesty to mark the Golden Jubilee in 2002 and to recognise the outstanding contributions made to local communities by groups of volunteers. It sets the national benchmark for excellence in volunteering, with the work of those awarded being judged to be of the highest standard.
British Muslim Heritage Centre has been operating for 10 years and has nearly 100 volunteers. The centre has more than 120,000 visitors a year from across Greater Manchester. Based in a 170 year-old Grade II* former college, which is undergoing a £11m restoration, the centre is a hub for local activities, events and services.
Nasar Mahmood, Chairman of the British Muslim Heritage Centre said: “The trustees, staff, volunteers and supporters are grateful for the recognition, which can only spur us all to strive even harder to build a stronger and more cohesive society. We are an organisation of committed people, the vast majority of whom are volunteers and are dedicated to this cause and have proven over the years that together we can achieve our aspirations.
At a time when the Muslim community is continually in the spotlight, our work is going a long way to finding common ground, with trust-building at the heart of everything we do. This work would not be possible without our dedicated volunteers and this award is very well deserved.”
Commenting on the British Muslim Heritage Centre, The Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Warren Smith, said: “This wonderful centre does an incredible job in inspiring our communities to embrace diversity.
“This year we had 27, a record number of recipients, more than any other year, and far more than any other county. Since these awards were created in 2002 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation, we have met so many deserving groups who give their time freely for the benefit of others. The annual event at Gorton Monastery is such an uplifting and inspiring day. I would like to encourage more nominations for social enterprises, charities and voluntary groups in Greater Manchester before the September deadline.
The twenty-seven 2018 Greater Manchester winners include:
Oldham Youth Council
Once Upon a Smile
Redeeming Our Communities
The Friends of Clayton Park and Trustees of Clayton Hall Living History Museum
The Joshua Wilson Brain Tumour Charity
The Men’s Room
Wrightington, Wigan & Leigh NHS Foundation Trust Volunteers
Bolton FM CIC
British Muslim Heritage Centre
Cash Box Credit Union
Critchley Community Hub
East Manchester Community Boat Project
Gorton Community Centre & Gorton Growing Together
Greater Manchester Police Special Constabulary
Greater Manchester Police Volunteer Police Cadets
Higher Folds Community Centre
Leigh Film Society
Lower Kersal Young People and Community Group
Mahdlo Youth Zone
Manchester Action on Street Health
New Springs Community Project Group
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest honour that can be bestowed on a voluntary group. The closing date for nominations for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2019 awards is 14 September 2018. Organisations who have been operating for at least three years, and whose workforce is more than half voluntary are eligible to be nominated.
For information on how to nominate a group, visit: www.manchesterlieutenancy.org or www.gov.uk/queens-award-for-voluntary-service.