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Soho Road Bid receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2020

Soho Road Business Improvement District receives the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2020, a group of volunteers based in Handsworth Soho Road have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

Soho Road Business Improvement District is a volunteer led organisation that manages the Soho Road Town Centre in Handsworth. The organisation has over 700 members and a team of approx. 100 volunteers that get involved in many different elements of the tremendous work they do.

Soho Road Business Improvement District is one of 230 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations remains high year on year, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Recipients are announced each year on 2nd June, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse. They include volunteer groups from across the UK, including a community shop in Cornwall, an environmental group in Swansea, a group working with refugees and vulnerable people in Stirling and a thriving community arts centre in County Down. To our knowledge Soho Road Business Improvement District (BID) is possibly the first Business Improvement District in the UK to receive such a prestigious award.

Representatives of Soho Road Business Improvement District will receive the award from Mr John Crabtree OBE, Lord Lieutenant of West Midlands later this summer. Furthermore, two volunteers from Soho Road Business Improvement District will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2021, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.

Soho Road Business Improvement District’s Chairman, Bob Balu says:

We are delighted to receive such a prestigious award. This recognition means the world to the BID Board and pays tribute to all of our volunteers as it shows that the work we do is appreciated within our community and nationally. We are also honoured to be the only Business Improvement District to receive the award in 2020 and possibly in the history of the awards. We would also like to thank all of the partner organisations that support us including Birmingham Council’s Cleaner Greener Streets and other departments, West Midlands Combined Authority, Birmingham and Solihull LEP, West Midlands Police, West Midlands Fire Service, Kier Highways to name just a few.”

Leader of Birmingham City Council Cllr Ian Ward said:

This award speaks volumes about Soho Road BID and its importance to the local community. At their best, Business Improvement Districts are about so much more than business interests, they’re about a sense of place, local pride and community. The Soho Road BID team clearly understand this, and the award is richly deserved recognition for a lot of hard work.”