The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given by the HM the Queen to groups and organisations in the voluntary sector across the UK. The North Somerset Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Network, a local charity based in Weston-super-Mare, won the award back in May 2020. However, due to COVID it is only now that the award can have its formal presentation ceremony.

This will be the first time that any organisation in Weston-super-Mare has been presented with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, and is possibly the first time for any BME/BAME charity in North Somerset or in the South West. The award is understandably a rare honour and privilege not just for the organisation but for all the community, especially those working in the voluntary sector.

The North Somerset BME Network has been running for 15 years, entirely by volunteers, supporting BME communities and promoting diversity, equality and inclusion across North Somerset. The Chairman of the North Somerset BME Network, and owner of Pappadoms, Sayd Ahmed said: “We are delighted that the BME Network has been recognised for the positive difference it has made and continues to make to the quality of life and integration of people from BME backgrounds in North Somerset”.

The presentation will be carried out by the Queen’s representative, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Somerset, Mrs Annie Maw, and attended by the Deputy-Lieutenant of Somerset, Steve Pilkington, the Mayor of Weston-super-Mare and other dignitaries, on Monday 18th October, 12.00pm at Weston Museum.

More details are available on the NS BME Website at https://ww.ns-bmenetwork.org