TWO Bradford groups are among 227 organisations in England which have been awarded the first ever King’s Award for Voluntary Service.

It is the highest award given to volunteer groups in recognition of their outstanding community service and is the equivalent of an MBE.

One of the King’s Award recipients was Bradford4Better (B4B), a group of ordinary citizens who work together to make Bradford cleaner, safer, greener and better for everyone.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bradford4Better, who won the King's Award, also were honoured at the 2022 National Diversity Awards.Bradford4Better, who won the King's Award, also were honoured at the 2022 National Diversity Awards. (Image: UGC)

The other recipient was the Bangladeshi Youth Organisation, a community-rooted charity that engages the youth and community in Manningham with activities and services aimed at addressing educational underachievement, health inequalities, training and unemployment, community cohesion, isolation and loneliness.

B4B originally started out as a small litter-picking group in April 2019.

From small litter picks to city-wide and location-specific clean-up and action day campaigns, its work has grown to cover various aspects of improving life in Bradford.

Chairman Dr Sohail Ahmed welcomed the award.

“This award is for all those who believe in making Bradford better," he said. 

"Without the dedication and passion of our volunteers, we could not have made such an impact in our community. ”

Vice chair Shahid Islam said: “We’re absolutely over the moon. Of course we don’t do the work in order to receive accolades but when we do it makes us understand our work is appreciated.”

Secretary Kashif Ahmed added: “We are deeply honoured to receive this esteemed recognition, which serves as an affirmation of our unwavering commitment to making a positive impact in our community.

“We are grateful for the support we have received from our volunteers, community and partners, which has been instrumental in our success.

“This recognition inspires us to create a better future for Bradford.”

Yasar Mohammed, treasurer of B4B, said the team was "deeply honoured and happy" and added: "It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our volunteers as well as our core team.”

Other organisations which received the award included: 

  • Coffee Pot Memory Café, Drighlington, which provides a safe meeting place and support for people experiencing dementia and other conditions.
  • The Brighouse and Rastrick Band, which maintains and encourages the promotion of brass band music.
  • Holocaust Centre North (Holocaust Survivors Friendship Association), Huddersfield, which supports survivors of the Holocaust and ensures their memories and experiences are made known.

Formerly known as The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the award was established in 2002 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee.

In February 2023, it was announced the award would become The King’s Award.