StreetGames takes a Royal bow

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At the end of a year in which volunteers won over the hearts of the nation, StreetGames has received the Royal seal of approval for our ground-breaking Co-operative StreetGames Young Volunteers (CSYV) programme.

It was officially announced this morning that we have been given the prestigious Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award 2012, which is a special, one-off category of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

It is the second time in 18 months that StreetGames has received official recognition from Buckingham Palace for our work in giving young people from disadvantaged communities the chance to play sport on a regular basis. Chief Executive Jane Ashworth was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2011.

To celebrate the award, StreetGames will be invited to a reception at Buckingham Palace in the Spring of 2013 as a joint celebration for recipients of the Diamond Jubilee Award and The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. 

Norman Turner, StreetGames Chairman, and Alex Baker, The Co-operative's Head of Membership for London and the South East, with the Award certificate

Capitalising on the feelgood factor generated by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, a total of 1,246 new volunteers were recruited into the CSYV programme during the summer of 2012. Of this total, nearly 500 were female volunteers. 

John Downes, National Programme Manager, The Co-operative StreetGames Young Volunteers programme, said: “Volunteers are the lifeblood of StreetGames. Working in disadvantaged communities, we draw on local young people who understand that community. Their passion and commitment towards helping their peers play and enjoy sport on a regular basis is vital in helping our projects to become self-sustaining. 

“We are proud of every one of them and we share this award with them all. It is a fantastic honour for StreetGames.”

Asa Waite, the 2012 Co-operative StreetGames Young Volunteer of the Year for Wales, added: “The Volunteer programme is the best thing I’ve ever done in turning my life around and I couldn’t recommend it more. Being named Young Volunteer of the Year for Wales this summer meant everything to me. I always wanted to pursue a career in sport and this is great helping the community. Delivering it to young kids and kids being able to better themselves, it’s so rewarding.”

Since the programme began in September 2007, StreetGames has recruited a total of 5,632 volunteers, who have gained a total of 4,361 qualifications through the programme – everything from accredited football coaching levels 1 and 2 through Young Achievers Awards to First Aid and Child Protection qualifications.

This summer, another of our funding partners, Coca-Cola Great Britain, gave 19 of our most dedicated volunteers the opportunity to carry the Olympic Torch in the Olympic Torch Relay. As an official Olympic partner, Coca-Cola also hired 17 of our CSYV volunteers to work at Olympic Park as members of their Venue Operations Team during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Co-operative has provided five years support to the CSYV programme and a total of £2million in funding since 2007.

Sarah Klueter, Senior Community Investment Manager at The Co-operative Group, said: “To receive such a prestigious award during this very special Jubilee year is a real honour and will mean a great deal to all of our 5,000 young volunteers. 

“This award will make a huge difference to the morale of all our young volunteers as well as to the younger children who look to our volunteers for guidance.”

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StreetGames youngsters visit No. 10 | 29th March 2012