Royal seal of approval for Leeds charity

Volunteers from the charity OPAL,which has won a Queen's Award for Voluntary Service. Pictured at the front: project co-ordinator Ailsa Rhodes.
Volunteers from the charity OPAL,which has won a Queen's Award for Voluntary Service. Pictured at the front: project co-ordinator Ailsa Rhodes.
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A charity which combats loneliness among older people in north Leeds has received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service - the highest award of its kind in the UK.

OPAL - Older People’s Action in the Locality - has received the top honour for its work in providing social opportunities and support to over 700 people in the LS16 area.

The awards were created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and OPAL is one of 187 charities announced as winners today - the anniversary of the Queen’s coronation.

Ailsa Rhodes, OPAL’s project co-ordinator and Sally Anne-Notley, volunteer co-ordinator, have just returned from a garden party at Buckingham Palace where they met with the Queen and fellow charity winners.

They will receive the award later this summer from the Lord Lieutenant of Leeds.

Ailsa said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be recognised by the Queen for our work in the Leeds 16 community.

“Our volunteers are such a committed group of people who are so generous with their time. It is only because of our fabulous team of volunteers that we are able to make the difference to older people’s lives that we do.”

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.

OPAL’s team of over 100 volunteers support a small staff team to provide activities such as day trips, lunch clubs, carers’ group, tea dance, exercise classes, befriending and help accessing benefits. Visit www.opal-project.org.uk.

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