Community group picks up right royal prize

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A COMMUNITY group given the royal seal of approval in the form of a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service has now taken delivery of the accolade.

Cowpen Quay Community Association, based at the Buffalo Centre in Blyth’s Regent Street, has been celebrating since being told it had won the award back in June, as reported in the News Post Leader at the time.

And now the association’s staff, volunteers and users can finally see what all the fuss is about as it has been presented with the award by Jane Percy, the Duchess of Northumberland, at a ceremony held in Alnwick Castle.

The award, equivalent to an MBE, recognises the outstanding contribution to community life made by the association since it was set up over 30 years ago to offer social and educational activities to residents of the Croft ward and Cowpen Quay in Blyth.

Centre manager Eileen Cartie said: “All of our volunteers at the centre work very hard to make the place the success it is.

“This award gives us recognition for the quality of work will do within the community. It’s such an achievement.”

Blyth Valley MP Ronnie Campbell, a trustee of the association, said: “I’m delighted for them.

“They are a very well-run community centre.”

Chairman Foster Burt and volunteer Denise Mitchell accepted the award from the duchess on behalf of the association.

Foster said: “All of our volunteers have worked hard over the years to support the local community.

“It is a real honour to be presented with such a prestigious award.”

The community centre hosts a wide range of activities, including youth clubs, parent and toddler groups, martial arts, dance classes and art groups.

Anyone interested in taking part in any of the activities can call the centre on (01670) 363858 for details.