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Group rewarded for ‘enriching the community’

SUPPORT: Erdington Asian Women’s Society with West Midlands’ deputy lieutenant Beverly Lindsay (centre)

THEY STARTED off as young newly-married women – now many are pensioners and widows, but the solidarity and strength of this voluntary group has earned them an ‘Oscar’ in community awards.

Erdington Asian Women’s Society was presented with the highest accolade for community and voluntary service by West Midlands’ deputy lieutenant Beverly Lindsay OD, OBE.

The ceremony was also attended by Jack Dromey, Labour MP for Birmingham Erdington.

Ms Lindsay told the group that their award – the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – was the equivalent of an MBE in community terms which recognises groups that have volunteered their services for the benefit of others.

She said: “It’s very commendable that this group began with a few women who became friends and worked together to support so many others within the community.

“The intimate and welcome support the group offers has allowed that spirit of friendship to continue and thrive to give a feeling of comfort that you only get from being a part of an extended family.”

Dromey praised the group, saying: “What you have done is quite remarkable – you have celebrated your ported one another, sometimes in the ceremony that the women had first met in 1989 in the front room of her home. They now meet weekly at St Mark’s Church in Erdington.

She said: “We had a vision to do something for the Asian women in the area because in those days there was nothing for women, other than occasional visits to the cinema.

“We’ve supported each other in so many ways – a lot of us have lost our husbands and partners, but we haven’t needed any bereavement counselling because the group has helped each other.

“And I think that is what this group is all about.”

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