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Queen's Award for church-based drop-in

The people behind a drop-in for the vulnerable and homeless at a Staffordshire Baptist church have been recognised with the highest award a voluntary group can receive

Manna

Manna House, based at Hanley Baptist Church in Stoke-on-Trent, is one of this year’s recipients of The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. Described as 'the MBE for voluntary groups’, the award recognises outstanding work.

Manna House opened its doors just over 11 years ago when volunteers recognised a need to support the homeless and vulnerable within the Stoke-on-Trent area.

From its first two visitors, who walked in on that cold night in March 2005, it now supports in excess of 150 guests every week by providing hot and cold food, shower facilities, and other essentials like toiletries, underwear and clean, dry clothing.
 
Many of the visitors have become involved themselves as an act of giving something back to the community that has supported them. The trustees are exceptionally proud of this award as it recognises the effort and commitment of all who freely give their time, energy and finances to support this valuable work.
 
‘We are absolutely delighted to have received such a prestigious award,' said Trevor Nicklin, Pastor of Hanley Baptist Church and Chair of the Manna House (Hanley) Trustees, who also emphasised the gospel imperative behind the work.

‘We have never courted publicity or sought recognition for what we do because it has always been our objective to live out the instruction in Matthew 25 and be the hands and feet of Jesus.

‘Remember that anyone you meet could be facing some sort of difficulty, so speak kindly; support simply; care deeply; love generously; then leave the rest to God.  I would invite anyone who would like to know more, or be involved in any way, to please get in touch.’
 
There was also praise from the Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Staffordshire, Prakash Samani, who said, ‘I am really thrilled that Manna House, a drop in for homeless and vulnerable people within the Stoke on Trent area has been recognised as worthy winners of the 2016 Queens Award for Voluntary Services.
 
‘I have personally seen this work in action and I congratulate all its hard working silent volunteers, who have finally been recognised for their work since its launch in 2005. What a fantastic achievement for Manna House and for Staffordshire.’
Doreen English and Ann Nicklin from Manna House (Hanley) were very proud to have attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace on 24 May where they met the Queen and other winners of this year’s award.
 
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the MBE for voluntary groups. The awards were created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and winners are announced each year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.  
 
Manna House (Hanley) is one of 193 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups, throughout the UK, and one of only nine in Staffordshire, to receive the prestigious award this year.
 
The number of awards given to groups this year is slightly higher than last year, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to tackle community challenges.
 

Baptist Times, 02/06/2016
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