THE ONE Community Trust in Tilbury has been lauded with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

Independent Committee Chair, former broadcast journalist Sir Martyn Lewis said:

“This year’s record number of Queen’s Award awardees are a powerful testimony to the remarkable achievements and innovative ideas which characterise volunteering in the UK. They prove that, more than ever, volunteers beavering away at grassroots level are the active lifeblood of our communities, identifying all kinds of problems and issues and tackling them with enthusiasm, talent and a high degree of success.

“The recipients of the Queen’s Award are at the very top of a formidable volunteering movement in the UK involving millions of our citizens, and going from strength to strength.”

Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst, Lord Lieutenant of Essex said: “One Community Development Trust provide a wide range of services to over 600 local residents who make in excess of 5,000 visits each year to their community facility. They help change lives by providing support to help people build confidence to become self-sufficient for the future. The help provided ranges from resolving housing issues, providing IT skills, preparing people for interviews to get paid work, benefits advice, coaching and mentoring, overcoming language barriers, advice and support for domestic violence, providing food and toiletries and meeting ‘any other needs that are presented’ that would support independent living.

All of the programmes are volunteer led and an average of 22 trained volunteers and 6 volunteer Trustees are responsible for running the One Community. Many who have received support later return as peer mentors to support other volunteers; this process is facilitated by their unique and inspired Volunteer Investment Programme (VIP) which enables volunteers to gain job ready skills and confidence. This is an exceptional Group doing exceptional work – One Community Development Trust are worthy winners of the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services”.

As well as receiving a trophy in recognition of their work, Moat House Community Trust has also been awarded £1,000 to invest in their community

Yewande Kannike, CEO of One Community Development Trust said:

“All the years I’ve been coming to locality, I would listen to other people winning the awards and think – could it ever be us? A small, locally based organisation? Today it’s our turn. We’re delighted. It’s going to increase morale among our staff, our volunteers and mean a lot to Tilbury. It will be such a wonderful thing for the local people, for me to come back and say we won”.

Tony Armstrong, Chief Executive of Locality said:

“Congratulations to One Community Development Trust for winning the Transforming Lives Award. At Locality, we passionately believe in the power of community to transform lives and create a fairer world. Local community organisations like One Community are the very embodiment of this vision. These organisations have shown incredible leadership, energy, and creativity, stepping up in what have been extraordinarily challenging times.”

One Community Development Trust was joined by 4 other award winners, each making an incredible difference to the lives of people in their communities across England.