Image of Lord Lieutenant of West Midlands and Beacon Volunteer holding the Queens Award.

Volunteers who dedicate their time to local sight loss charity, Beacon Centre for the Blind, have been presented with the prestigious Queen’s Award in recognition for their hard work and dedication.

The team of volunteers who support the Black Country based charity were presented with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service by Lord Lieutenant of West Midlands, John Crabtree OBE, in a celebration event at Beacon’s HQ on Wolverhampton Road East. The award is the highest honour given to local volunteer groups – often referred to as the MBE for volunteers.

Ian Cartwright, who has been volunteering for over three years with Beacon, received the award on the behalf of all the volunteers and said:

“This is a huge achievement for Beacon. I am glad we have got the award in our hands and can display it proudly for everyone to see. I am receiving this award on the behalf of all our dedicated volunteers who give so much of their time to Beacon – they are the backbone of our charity.”

Many volunteers joined the award ceremony as well as Beacon staff. Following speeches from the Lord Lieutenant, and Chair of Beacon Centre Trustees, Pauline Heffernan, the charity was presented with the award.

Becky Sinar, Volunteer Coordinator at Beacon, added:

“We are really happy to have been announced as a recipient of this fantastic award. I am so very proud of our wonderful team of volunteers; they work incredibly hard for our charity and it is brilliant to have their hard work recognised in this way. Beacon has been supporting local people living with sight loss for over 140 years and we honestly could not keep doing this without the support of our volunteers.”

Beacon is a well-established West Midlands charity which was founded in the Black Country and has since expanded. The charity makes a visible difference to people living with sight loss and helps raise awareness of the importance of eye health.

Arwyn Jones, Chief Executive of Beacon, thanked all of the volunteers for their incredible support, adding:

“The gift that our volunteers give to people every week by donating their time and energy is priceless. Our volunteers provide thousands of hours of unpaid work every year.  They help in our charity shops, with our fundraising activities and events, as well as in our independent living centres, enabling people with sight loss to maintain their independence and interests.”