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West Midlands charity receives Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

West Midlands charity The Buddy Bag Foundation, which helps children fleeing domestic violence, has been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

It is the highest award a local voluntary group can receive in the UK and is equivalent to an MBE. The BBF provided a bag of essential items to children who find themselves in emergency accommodation.


Karen Williams OBE, founder of the BBF, said: “We were thrilled and overjoyed to be awarded the QAVS.

“The Buddy Bag Foundation has now had over 4,000 volunteers so this award is recognition of their hard work and support over the last seven years.

“The BBF is a team effort, as we rely solely on our volunteers. Everyone who is part of the charity is honoured and grateful to have received this award.”


In February, Karen received an OBE for her services to the victims of domestic violence.

She said: “Receiving my OBE was an absolute privilege. My dream six years ago was to set up a charity that could and would make a real and meaningful difference.

“However, receiving the QAVS in recognition of all our volunteers is priceless.

“The assistance from our volunteers means we have realised this dream. Thank you to all our volunteers and supporters.”


Buddy Bag Foundation co-founder Chris Williams added: “We are delighted to see all our dedicated volunteers be recognised with this award. They should be very proud of the award and all that we have achieved. We have made a difference to over 43,500 children by supplying them with a ‘bag of love’.”


The QVAS award will be officially awarded by the Queen’s Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands, John Crabtree OBE at a ceremony in late autumn.

In addition, two volunteers from the BFF will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2023, along with other recipients of this year’s award.


The award was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Recipients are announced each year on June 2, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

The BBF will be hosting a BBF Award and Afternoon Tea celebration on Saturday, September 17, at Harvest Fields in Sutton Coldfield to celebrate the award.

Karen added: “We are so excited to celebrate our accomplishment. Together we have achieved and are continuing to achieve something truly special.”


To find out more about the BBF and to volunteer or donate, visit

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