Westerleigh Judokwai to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

A voluntary group from Battle, East Sussex who work in the community to raise awareness of inclusive judo has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

Westerleigh Judokwai is very much a family club and has approximately 100 players who train over four sessions a week fifty weeks a year. 35% of players at the club have a disability. Next month three judoka from the club and one of their coaches will represent GB as part of the GB team at the Special Olympic World Games in the U.S.A. This will be the fourth time members of Westerleigh have represented Great Britain the Games.

Westerleigh Judokwai directors Paul and Paula Everest attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace on Thursday 28th May where they met the Queen and other winners of this year’s award.

The judo club is one of 187 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of awards handed out to groups has increased by over 60% since last year, due to an increase in applications, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to tackle community challenges.

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. The awards were created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and winners are announced each year on 2nd June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

Westerleigh Judokwai will receive their award from the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex later this summer.

Speaking about the award Paula Everest, said: “We as an organisation feel very honoured to receive such an award, it recognises all the time that has been given voluntarily by the committee, family and friends. To find out we were being awarded the Queens award in year of our 20th anniversary we feel is an amazing achievement”.

Westerleigh Judokwai meet on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays at Claverham Community College, North Trade Road, Battle, East Sussex TN33 0HT. For more information visit their website at www.westerleighjudo.org.uk.