Bright Star and Oldham receive The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

June 2, 2021 | by Matt Halfpenny


England Boxing-affiliated clubs Bright Star Boxing Academy and Oldham Boxing and Personal Development Centre have been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

West Midlands region club Bright Star, based in Shifnal, Shropshire, strives to use boxing and education to empower people to make positive changes to transform their lives, improving their mental health and self-esteem.

As well as open boxing sessions, Bright Star runs alternative education provision in their Futures programme and mental health support through their Counterpunch sessions. It also works with vulnerable young people who are at risk of criminal exploitation.

To become a QAVS award winner, organisations need to go the extra mile, and the Lieutenancy assessment team was hugely impressed with the dedication and skills of the volunteers in supporting young people and adults in the local community, especially during the COVID 19 pandemic.

Bright Star is one of 241 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year.

The number of nominations remains high year on year, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.

Proud Bright Star Director, Joe Lockley said: “Winning this award is absolutely amazing for all of the staff and volunteers at the academy.

“Although we are still a relatively new organisation, it’s great to see the impact we’re having is recognised nationally.

“Everyone involved with Bright Star goes the extra mile to meet the needs of everyone who walks through the doors, whether that be through one of our targeted programmes or to the open boxing club sessions.”

Representatives of Bright Star will receive the award crystal and certificate from Mrs Anna Turner JP, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire later this summer.

Two volunteers from Bright Star, meanwhile, will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2022 (depending on restrictions at the time), along with other recipients of this year’s award.

Oldham, meanwhile, was nominated for the award by Councillor Ginny Alexander.

The club said: “We would like to give a huge thank you to councillor Alexander for nominating our club for this honourable award during her period of office as Mayor of Oldham.”

The North West club, where Eric Noi (pictured below) is Head Coach, will now receive the award crystal and a certificate, which they plan to display in the centre, and are planning to attend the celebration event next year.

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. Recipients are announced each year on 2nd June, the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation.

For full details on how to nominate for the award, click here. Nominations for the 2022 awards close on 15th September 2021.

Note: some pictures are pre Covid-19.