Two New Vic Borderlines participants have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services for their dedication to helping some of Stoke-on-Trent’s most vulnerable people.
Earlier this summer, Sheila Evans and Dianne Yeadon were presented with the award to mark their voluntary work with Burslem’s Jubilee Project which supports refugees and asylum seekers.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services is the highest award given to UK volunteer groups and is the equivalent to the MBE. The Burslem Jubilee Project offers support, companionship and activities to all asylum seekers and refugees within the Stoke-on-Trent community.
Both Sheila and Dianne have long been associated with New Vic Borderlines and are regular participants in the theatre’s community outreach projects. They were last seen celebrating local heritage in Lost and Found at Maxims to mark the opening of Belong Village in Newcastle.
Sheila, who used to work in Stoke’s ceramics industry, said: “We’re so proud to have been presented with this award, it’s a real acknowledgement of the hard work of the Jubilee Project. The work we do every week is just a normal thing for us now. It wasn’t until one of our group members put a Powerpoint presentation together that we realised what the group means to the people who use it and the impact it has on them.”
Retired community midwife Dianne added: “The Jubilee Project is about supporting some of the most vulnerable people in the city. Amongst other many other activities, we bring them to the New Vic to get involved in the various workshops Borderlines holds. It’s so important to get people out of isolation, enjoying themselves and teaching us about their own cultures.”
Susan Moffat, Director of New Vic Borderlines, said: “We’re absolutely delighted our friends Sheila and Dianne have received this award. From the very first project that we were involved in with them they’ve been fearless in standing up for and alongside some of the most vulnerable people in our community with real compassion, warmth and humour.”
Very well done Sheila and Dianne! From all your New Vic friends.