Community cafe and food market wins prestigious voluntary service award

Volunteers in the borough have been given the highest accolade they can receive for their efforts.

Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 4:45 am
The Bridge at Leigh has been given the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service
The Bridge at Leigh has been given the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service

The Bridge at Leigh described its delight after receiving the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

And the group has received a double boost as it has also received special recognition for its contribution to supporting the community during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Trustee Dorothy Bowker outside The Bridge at Leigh

The Bridge at Leigh has been running a successful community cafe and food market since 2016.

Its work helps to prevent food ending up in landfill while also supporting those on the breadline and tackling social exclusion by offering wellness, support and inclusion.

When the novel coronavirus hit in March 2020 The Bridge at Leigh closed its existing operations and replaced them almost overnight with a hamper delivery service for people struggling to get groceries.

The volunteers experienced overwhelming demand, with more than 100 food packages being distributed on a daily basis.

Supervisor Ellie Noble in the food market

Fortunately a large number of generous residents responded and offered their time to help out.

The food market has now reopened and The Bridge at Leigh is planning to bring back its classes and group therapy sessions.

Trustee Dorothy Bowker said: “We are delighted to have received this award to recognise the hard work and commitment our volunteers have done for the community and I would like to pay tribute to each and every one of them, they are all heroes.”

The Bridge at Leigh will receive the award crystal and certificate from Sir Warren Smith, the Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, later this summer.

Two volunteers will also attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2022, restrictions permitting.

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