Dewsbury charity wins Queen's Award for helping vulnerable women and children

A North Kirklees based charity that helps vulnerable women, girls and children has received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

Tuesday, 10th August 2021, 11:00 am
Lord Lieutenant Ed Anderson and Dewsbury MP Mark Eastwood, with Shaffia Khatun of SKY Positive Minds, cut a celebratory cake at a ceremony to receive the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service. Photo by SKI Photography

SKY Positive Minds was presented with the accolade - the highest award that a voluntary organisation can receive - during a special ceremony last week at the Howlands Centre in Dewsbury.

The event was attended by representatives from Kirklees Council, Voluntary Action Calderdale (VAC), Dewsbury MP Mark Eastwood and the Queen’s Lord Lieutenant, Ed Anderson, who presented the award to Shaffia Khatun, of SKY Positive Minds.

Shaffia said that she was truly humbled to receive the award and thanked the board and volunteers for all their hard work.

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Lord Lieutenant Ed Anderson presents the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service to Shaffia Khatun, of SKY Positive Minds. Photo by SKI Photography

“It was lots of volunteer hours that went into SKY Positive Minds,” she said.

Shaffia added that she was proud of the group’s achievement in being able to gain the confidence of BAME women to come forward and access help.

She also outlined the future plans of the charity and appealed for help with securing a venue and more funding in order to extend its work.

SKY Positive Minds helps vulnerable women, girls and children become more resilient through dedicated one to one support and workshops.

At the event, service users spoke about how their lives were transformed because of the help they received from the team.

Volunteers talked about their roles including inspirational accounts of them setting up a support hub for girls, and how girls from different backgrounds worked together to create a multicultural arts mural.

Mr Anderson said that SKY Positive Minds is “an exceptional charity improving the lives of vulnerable women and children”.

Mr Eastwood said: “This is an incredible achievement that cannot be overstated.”