The Trustees of Colehill & Wimborne Youth & Community Centre Ltd,  a group of volunteers based at The Reef Youth & Community Centre in Colehill, have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

The Colehill & Wimborne Youth & Community Centre was set up as a charity in 2006 to raise funds to build a new Youth Club for the young people of Colehill, Wimborne and the surrounding area. After years of fund raising the building of the new centre commenced in 2014 and was completed and opened in September 2016. The centre is now very well used by a vast array of local clubs, societies and groups who hire the building on a regular basis. This valuable income goes a long way to supporting the Youth Club which meets 3 evenings each week during term time. The club caters for young people from age 10 -17 years who enjoy a wide range of activities. The qualified, professional Youth Workers, who are employed by the charity, provide an essential service for local youngsters. This work is paid for by income generated by hiring the facilities and by regular fund-raising events.

Representatives from the charity attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.

Colehill & Wimborne Youth & Community Centre Ltd is one of 281 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations and awards has increased year on year since the awards were introduced in 2002, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.  Winners are announced each year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse.  They include volunteers helping people overcome mental health problems through sport, volunteers using caravans as mobile cafe/information centres in geographically remote locations and another group mentoring children who have a parent in prison.

Representatives of The Colehill & Wimborne Youth & Community Centre Ltd will receive the award from Angus Campbell Esq., Lord Lieutenant of Dorset, later this summer.

David Torring, Chair of Trustees, says:  “We are delighted and honoured that our group’s work to raise funds and build a new youth and community centre has been recognised. It is down to the hard work of all our trustees and volunteers and to the wider community that we have been able to achieve our goal. We must also pay tribute to local parish, town, district and county councils and the many charitable organisations who believed in our project and gave us vital financial support.”