|The Hub scoops top Queen’s award

Birmingham Community Sports Hub Scoops Top Queen’s Award (QAV/MBE)

The groundbreaking Holford Drive Community Sports HUB attracts between 600 and 800 young people a week…Written by Poppy Brady.
Lincoln Moses, MBE, outside the HUB A COMMUNITY sports hub, hailed as a sporting blueprint, has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.The groundbreaking Holford Drive Community Sports HUB in Birmingham scooped the top honour for attracting between 600 and 800 young people a week to its sports base in Perry Barr. The major leisure centre is run by four clubs that focus on four core sports: Aston Boxing Club, Holford Drive Tennis Club, Continental Star Football Club and Continental Star Cricket Club. All four are run by the community for the community.

Lincoln Moses, MBE, the man behind the project, along with Keith John and Diane Sawyers, fellow trustees of the HUB, attended a garden party last month at Buckingham Palace where they met the Queen and other members of this year’s award. Moses, who welcomed Prince William to officially open the sports HUB in December 2014, said: “I am not by nature an excitable person. On the contrary, life’s oscillations have left me pretty cynical. But I’m so excited about being at the genesis of Holford Drive Community Sports Hub, while helping to transform the lives of local people.” Moses, who has joked in the past about having Prince William on speed dial because he has met him so many times, is a sporting pioneer in his own right. He still manages Continental Star, the UK’s oldest black-led community football club and was awarded the MBE for services to community sport eight years ago. The HUB has been a long-held sporting dream for Moses who has called it a fine example of how such a centre can work when community assets are entrusted to groups who have the community’s interest at heart. He told the Voice: “When we first took over the HUB we called it a room without a roof because the actual building was just a shell. But now we have a first rate sports facility that’s seen as a blueprint – a model that can be rolled out in other parts of the city.

The HUB is one of 193 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of awards given to groups this year is slightly higher than last year, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to tackle community challenges.
Former broadcast journalist Sir Martyn Lewis, the Queens Award for Voluntary Service, committee chair, said: “The judging panel for this year’s awards were struck by the quality and breadth of all the successful groups.“ The thousands of volunteers who give up their spare time to help others in their community and to help solve problems demonstrate the very best of democracy in action.