The Winners of the 2023 King’s Award have been announced, with plenty of representation from Greater Manchester.

The awards are given out each year to celebrate volunteers and their work, carried out across the nation. It is the highest award that can be given to a group, and is the equivalent of an MBE.

First held in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, 262 groups are recipients this time around, with 23 coming from our region. They range from dementia care to music education.

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One of this year’s winners is Wigan Youth Group. The foundation, backed by businessmen such as Dave Whelan, constructed a state-of-the-art youth centre in Wigan Town Centre. The building gives young people in the borough a safe space to socialise and learn new skills.

Anthony Ashworth-Steen, CEO of the Youth Zonesaid: “This is a great honour for Wigan Youth Zone, and we are absolutely ecstatic to have received this prestigious recognition. One of our charity’s best or, on reflection, worst-kept secrets is that we are volunteer-led and are reliant on significant voluntary support to run our critical services for young people – about half of our team members are volunteers at any one time.

“This award is for them, our supporters, our young people, and our entire community – together, we are making proactive investment in the future of our next generation, and, by doing so, we are making a positive difference to thousands of lives.”

Winners of the award will receive the award from the Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester. Awardees also get two invites to a Royal Garden Party with the King in May.

Wigan Youth Zone provide services for children in the borough between the ages of 8-19

2023 King’s Award for Voluntary Service - Greater Manchester’s Winners:

  • Aspire 2 Inspire Communities CIC, Rochdale - Aiming to empower, educate and encourage community members to break barriers and achieve small milestones.
  • Bolton Council of Mosques Funeral Services, Bolton - Providing advice, guidance, support, and burial services to the Muslim community in Bolton.
  • Bridgers Community Group, Leigh - Community and Dementia care group furthering environmental, social, horticultural and pastoral activities within the village.
  • Bury LGBTQI+ Forum, Bury - Supporting the LGBTQI+ community by breaking down barriers and engaging with all communities.
  • Bury People First, Bury - Challenging inequalities within the learning disabled community, breaking the cycle of ignorance.
  • CreateBolton, Bolton - Making a difference across the community via creative art to those who are increasingly isolated.
  • Feed My City, Manchester - Providing free hot meals & emergency food parcels to people in Greater Manchester without judgement.
  • Finding Rainbows, Ashton-Under-Lyne - Offering support to anyone who has suffered the loss of a baby or child.
  • Friends of Didsbury Park, Didsbury - Maintaining and improving Didsbury Park for the benefit of the whole community.
  • Jolly Josh, Rochdale - A centre for children and young people with complex medical needs, and physical disabilities.
  • Kildare Grange Social and Dancing Section, Hindley - Promoting a safe place for people over 65 to meet weekly for dancing and other social activities.
  • LEAP Children, Families & Communities (St Peter’s Partnerships), Ashton-Under-Lyne - Tackling inequalities through learning, empowerment and participation.
  • NEPHRA Good Neighbours, New Moston - Preventing loneliness and isolation by encouraging socialisation among 60+ age group.
  • Olympias Music Foundation (OMF), Chorlton - Providing high-quality sustained music education to diverse low-income children in Manchester.
  • Place 2 Place Football Club, Ashton-In-Makerfield - Supporting people who are struggling with their mental health/wellbeing through playing football.
  • Princes Park Garden Centre, Irlam - A horticultural day service for adults with learning difficulties in Princes Park Irlam, Salford.
  • Special Educational Needs Family Support Group, Urmston - Providing advocacy, support and a voice to those with SEND missed by local services and schools.
  • Supporting Sisters, Bury - Providing essential and critical advice and support for vulnerable women and the wider community.
  • The One House, Aspull - Providing friendship and support in the heart of the community.
  • The Volunteers of Caritas Diocese of Salford, Salford - Providing ongoing support and protection to those experiencing poverty, homelessness, crisis, disadvantage and discrimination.
  • Trafford Veterans CIC, Sale - Providing peer support activities to improve mental health and wellbeing.
  • Wigan Youth Zone, Wigan- Inspiring and empowering the next generation to reach their full potential.
  • Women With Wings CIC, Little Hulton - Providing coaching and mentoring support to enable women to improve their employment and skills outcomes.