Vital Rugby community centre lands voluntary award

A voluntary organisation in Rugby which delivers community-led services and aims to improve social cohesion has been handed the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services.

The Benn Partnership Centre is a multi-cultural community centre, which operates based on local needs in the community and has been presented with the award, which is the voluntary sector’s equivalent of an MBE.

The main focus at the centre is getting people back into work and helping them to claim the support they are entitled to. Additionally a number of community classes are also held at the centre including art groups, yoga and pilates classes and Bhangra dancing.

“After being ill, I was off work for two years,” said deputy manager Rob Higgs. “I volunteered for two years in the IT room at the centre which got me back on my feet, then I applied for the role of deputy manager when it came up. The centre made me employable again.

“This award means we’re doing a good job for the people of Rugby who are struggling to find help elsewhere. The volunteers carry out the activities here and we wouldn’t be able to carry on without them.”

Cllr Kam Kaur, portfolio holder for customers added: “Warwickshire County Council is committed to supporting the most vulnerable people in our communities. We receive tremendous support from the voluntary sector in doing this so it’s a pleasure to see the Benn Partnership Centre handed this fantastic award.

“The centre supports local residents and people from across the world who have settled in Rugby with employment issues, integration into the local community and English lessons. The Benn Partnership Centre is a vital resource within Rugby, run by dedicated volunteers, which is reflected in this award.”

There are a range of opportunities for volunteering in Warwickshire. To find out more visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/volunteering.