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MCR Charities Collect Queen's Award

Mustard Tree and Wood Street Mission honoured with equivalent of MBE for volunteers

Published on August 11th 2014.

MCR Charities Collect Queen's Award

LOCAL charities Mustard Tree and Wood Street Mission have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, equivalent in status to an MBE.

"We know that we are just one piece in the jigsaw, and without all of our friends, supporters and volunteers we simply couldn’t do what we do"

They are two of thirteen local charities that were honoured at a ceremony at Gorton Monastery in East Manchester on Wednesday 6 August.

Presented to each charity by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Mr Warren Smith, and the Vice Lord-Lieutenant, Mrs Edith Conn, were an engraved commemorative crystal trophy and a signed certificate from Her Majesty the Queen.

Wood Street MissionWood Street Mission

Both charities do key work in helping disadvantaged people in Manchester.

Mustard Tree provides support for the marginalised and homeless. They aim to challenge both the causes and consequences of poverty, working to lower barriers to employment, education and good health.

Roughly 4,500 people receive help from Mustard Tree each year with over 18,000 having been aided in the charity’s twenty year history.

Adrian Nottingham, CEO of Mustard Tree, said: “It is fantastic to get this award in our twentieth anniversary year. It has been a privilege to have offered support to so many people at their time of need and vulnerability, and whilst that would have been reward enough, to be the recipients of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is a huge encouragement. 

“Mustard Tree is supported by hundreds of volunteers ranging from young people to corporate CEO’s and entire businesses. The reality is that we know that we are just one piece in the jigsaw, and without all of our friends, supporters and volunteers we simply couldn’t do what we do.”

003Mustard Tree

Child poverty is a significant issue in Manchester with one of the highest rates in the country. More than one in three children in Manchester are living in poverty though the figure increases to around half in some of the most deprived wards. It is this poverty that Wood Street Mission devotes itself to alleviating.

Wood Street Mission enables families to participate in important community and cultural events like Christmas and Easter by providing them with new toys, Easter eggs and food hampers. In 2013 their Christmas Project helped 4000 children and 2000 families – 150 a day through the month of December.

New school uniforms can be a financial burden for low income families so in 2013 the charity provided 1,300 free ones to make the start of the year a bit easier.

Alongside a small regular staff and volunteer group over 200 occasional volunteers from the corporate sector help out at peak times. In total 2,500 hours are contributed each year.

Roseanne Sweeney, Chief Executive of Wood Street Mission said: “Our volunteers help redistribute about a quarter of a million pounds worth of good quality second hand clothes, bedding and baby equipment directly to children and families in need, as well as important childhood possessions like new toys and books.

“They also raise funds and organise appeals for new school uniforms, are volunteer readers at holiday book clubs and play an important role promoting our work and raising awareness of the impact of poverty in Manchester and Salford. We are incredibly grateful for the hard work that makes it possible to help so many children in need.”

In the county as a whole thirteen charities received the award, a number matched only by Greater London. 

The Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Warren Smith, spoke of his hope that more unsung heroes would be nominated and honoured at next year’s event.

The closing date for nominations for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2015 is 30 September 2014. For information on how to nominate a group, visit: www.manchesterlieutenancy.org or www.gov.uk/queens-award-for-voluntary-service.

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JoanAugust 11th 2014.

Congratulations on well-deserved awards for much needed work.

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