The team at the NECA Community Garden, at the Brockley Avenue Allotments in South Shields has been given the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – the highest honour for voluntary groups in the UK.
NECA is a registered Charity focusing on improving lives in the North East, and over four decades the organisation has supported and enabled thousands of individuals to sustain long-term recovery from substances and Gambling misuse.
The Queen’s Award panel said NECA’s community garden was “an oasis in the heart of the community providing a safe and exciting learning environment”.
Norman Richardson, NECA Chairman, said: “We are immensely proud of our volunteers and are extremely honoured to be awarded the highest of accolades from from the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
"The award highlights the considerable commitment and achievements of our volunteers through what has been some very difficult and challenging times.
"We are grateful that members of our community took the time to nominate our volunteer group and we hope that we can continue to make a positive impact for local people in South Shields”.
Mr Richardson said NECA was grateful members of the community took the time to nominate the volunteer group and hopes it can continue to make a positive impact for people in South Shields
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 June on the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation.
Susan Winfield, the Lord-Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, will present the awards later this year.
The Lord-Lieutenant said: “My warmest congratulations to all those who have played a part in achieving this honour.
“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.
"I very much hope we will see more excellent groups nominated for the Award in the future.”