The Denis Law Legacy Trust & Robert Gordon University’s (RGU) Streetsport initiative has this week been given the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work in their communities.

The awards were created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and winners are announced each year on June 2 – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

The Streetsport programme, run by the Denis Law Legacy Trust and RGU in partnership with Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, is a non-profit initiative which aims to reduce instances of youth crime and anti-social behavior while helping develop the employability and aspirations of young people in Aberdeen. The innovative programme also includes the ParkLives with StreetGames initiative which is funded by Coca-Cola Great Britain.

Graham Thom, Chairman of the Denis Law Legacy Trust, commented, “ To say we were surprised is a huge understatement and the award tells us that we must be doing something right. Everyone involved with the Trust and the Streetsport Project are delighted. Specifically this award is a reflection of the outstanding contribution of our volunteers who are committed to delivering various programmes for the kids of Aberdeen. Without their help, the Project would not have such a significant impact and communities would miss out. This award is a huge thank you for their important support. “

Streetsport Chief Operating Officer, Mark Williams, commented: “The Queen’s award is a fantastic tribute to all the work our volunteers do every day across Aberdeen.

“Our various programmes are a success only due to the commitment and effort our volunteers put in and we are all very proud and thankful for their contributions.

“Our volunteers are very much at the heart of everything we do and what an amazing recognition this is for them.”

RGU Principal, Professor Ferdinand Von Prondzynski, added: “RGU has an established reputation for engagement within our local communities and Streetsport has enabled successive students to contribute to a wide range of activities in collaboration with a variety of project partners, sponsors and stakeholders.

“Existing impact measures of the Streetsport programme are notable and in some instances our student volunteers have helped reduce reports of youth crime, anti-social behavior and willful fire-raising by over 80%. We are very proud of them all.”

Streetsport volunteers have helped provide free of charge sport and creative activity sessions for young people throughout Aberdeen City by deploying mobile activity arenas directly into local communities and operating during peak times of anti-social behavior.

In 2016 there were over 12,500 participations from young people throughout Aberdeen.

Sir Martyn Lewis, the Queen’s Award Committee Chair, said: “I warmly congratulate all of the inspirational voluntary groups who have been rewarded for their community work with a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

“The judging panel for this year’s awards were struck by the quality and breadth of all the successful groups. The thousands of volunteers who give up spare time to help others in their community and to help solve problems demonstrate the very best of democracy in action.”

 

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