Award from Queen for boxing club that helps change lives

A boxing club has been officially presented with an honour awarded by the Queen earlier this year.

From left are Bright Star Boxing Academy director Joe Lockley, The Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire Anna Turner, and Julie Lockley.
From left are Bright Star Boxing Academy director Joe Lockley, The Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire Anna Turner, and Julie Lockley.

Bright Star Boxing Academy received the The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) in June.

The honour is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK.

It was created in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of the Queen's Coronation and is considered 'the MBE for volunteer groups'.

The award has now been officially presented by HM Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire, Anna Turner JP, at an evening ceremony hosted by the club at Casey's Cordingley Hall in Telford.

Around 120 people were present to see the award handed over, with the event featuring speakers telling the crowd how the club had affected their lives.

The academy has grown from a sporting training club when it started in 2016, into an organisation that helps the unemployed, people suffering with mental health issues, and mentoring for youngsters.

Academy director Joe Lockley, Lord-Lieutenant Anna Turner and Julie Lockley

Joe Lockley, director at Bright Star Boxing Academy, said it was wonderful to see the recognition for those who had helped build the club into what it is today, and to hear how it had helped to change lives.

He said: "We told our story and asked people to come up and tell us about how the club has helped them to change their lives.

"They were really emotional some of the stories. A lot of people before thought we were just a boxing club but now they see we can really empower people to choose the right path and make great choices in their lives.

"Hearing people tell their story in front of 120 people, people that were too scared to talk in their first session at the club, that is so powerful.

"What was amazing to see was we said we were really struggling with space and we need to fund moving to a bigger unit which will be a cost of £24,000, but we just can't afford it.

"Straight away the Wynn Foundation offered their help and having that support in that room, that can make that happen is amazing."

Mr Lockley added: "For the club to have received a national level award, what people would describe as a small local club, is so impactful.

"The work the volunteers do is so much more than volunteering a few hours, they are the ones that create that feeling of belonging. Them being recognised for what they are doing is so, so incredible."

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