IM this article to a friend!

June 4, 2003

Helpers get honour and tea with Queen

From: Southbridge News, UK - Jun 4, 2003

By Sunita Patel

Members of vital project aiding the deaf and hard of hearing community have been invited to join the Queen for tea after winning a prestigious national royal accolade.

Staff of a support group, based at the Wolverhampton Centre for the Deaf, have been awarded the Queen's Award for Volunteering in the Community in the West Midlands - joining the likes of Wolves in putting the city on the map.

The group, which has helped hundreds of people during the years, was shortlisted to one of three before being announced the regional winners this week to coincide with National Volunteers' Week - June 2 to 6.

And four of its members will be celebrating the achievement at Buckingham Palace later this summer, where they have been invited to join the Queen at a Royal Garden Party for all winners from across the country.

The Wolverhampton Support Group for Deaf People (WSDP) has been up and running for 14-years at the centre in Rupert Street, aided and founded by professional therapists from West Park Hospital, the Community Health Council, Wolverhampton Hard of Hearing Club and The Tinnitus Group.

It was nominated for the award by Sylvia Roberts, a hearing therapist at West Park Hospital.

Mary Palmer, from the centre, said staff were delighted to receive the accolade.

"Everyone is absolutely thrilled by the news," she said. "I am particularly happy because I have chaired this group for nine years in the past.

"We seemed to have turned a corner since Wolverhampton became a city.

"People are starting to be recognised for their hard work and achievements and now Wolves have done well as well," she said.

"I am not even a native of the city, but I love it," she added.

© Express & Star, 1997-2003