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West Midlands charity to receive one of the Queen’s final awards

The Buddy Bag Foundation, a West Midlands charity that helps children entering emergency accommodation as they flee domestic violence, will receive one of the final awards approved by Queen Elizabeth II at a special ceremony this month.

The Buddy Bag Foundation will receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest possible honour bestowed on local charities, equivalent to an MBE.

CEO and co-founder, Karen Williams OBE, said: “The pride I feel for the recognition of our volunteers is immense, that hasn’t changed but now there is an awareness that we are also a part of a chapter in the Royal lineage.”

Karen said being one of the last organisations to receive the Queen’s Award from Queen Elizabeth II ’emphasised the majestic significance of the award’.

The Sutton Coldfield-based charity was nominated for the work of its volunteers who pack ‘Buddy Bags’ full of the essential items a child needs when entering emergency care, with 100% of all donations going directly to the cause.

Karen paid tribute to the team of dedicated volunteers at the Buddy Bag Foundation.

“I know just how special our volunteers are and to see them recognised in this way makes me feel incredibly proud and honoured to work alongside them,” she said.

Karen and volunteers will be at the Birmingham Hippodrome on October 30 to accept the QAVS.

The award will be presented to BBF and 16 other charities by the Lord-Lieutenant of the West Midlands, with the day presenting an opportunity to shine a light on charity workers within the local community.

Further recognition of the hard work of Karen and the volunteers at the BBF will come from an invitation to a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace to take place in May 2023. Two volunteers from the BBF – alongside representatives from the other winners of the award – will be in attendance, with Karen adding: “This will be a complete honour under the circumstances.”

Visit buddybagfoundation.co.uk to volunteer, donate, or find out more about the cause.