REMA wins Royal recognition (Queens Award for Voluntary Services 2019)

3rd June 2019

Her Majesty The Queen has just announced that Rotherham Ethnic Minority Alliance has been selected as a recipient for The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2019. This is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK.

This unique UK national honour recognises the outstanding contributions made to local communities by groups of volunteers; it has an equivalent status for voluntary groups as the MBE has for individuals.

The award was created by The Queen in 2002 to mark the occasion of her Golden Jubilee, recognising excellence in voluntary activities carried out by groups in the community.

The delighted organisation will receive a certificate signed by The Queen and an exclusive commemorative crystal, presented by Her Majesty’s representative in South Yorkshire Mr Andrew Coombe.

The work that REMA does for the community was very much admired by the independent Assessment Committee, chaired by Sir Martyn Lewis CBE.

REMA was set up in 2001 as a group aimed at addressing inequalities faced by people from Black and Minority Ethnic Communities in Rotherham. It delivers support to minority voluntary groups and provides a range of services to support local communities including advice services, English classes, refugee support and advocacy on hate crime. A key campaign organised by the group in recent years has been the Love is Louder initiative. REMA organised this social movement to improve cohesion and counter divisive ideologies in the town and 1000’s of local people have taken part in its events and workshops.

Azizzum Akhtar, Chief Executive said: “Receiving The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2019 represents a tremendous achievement for all REMA volunteers, past and present, who have dedicated countless hours to promote our objectives and supported their local communities. We hope that everyone involved, and especially all our volunteers, feel immensely proud of the recognition that this Award represents.

Apart from the national recognition, the Award included an invitation to a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace, which was attended on behalf of the Trust by Yasmin Ishaq (Chair) and Sithule Mguni  (vice-chair) in May.