Birmingham: The Prevention First Citizens’ Panel, a group of volunteers that has supported Birmingham City Council’s commissioning process for 20 years, has been awarded The King’s Award for Voluntary Service.
This is the highest award a local voluntary group can receive in the UK and is equivalent to an MBE.
The panel is involved in the commissioning process for services, advising on service specifications, reviewing and ratifying equality assessments and becoming members of tender panels to actively support the decision of providers of services for vulnerable citizens.
They are one of 262 local charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year.
Donna Daley, Chair of Prevention First Citizens Panel, said: “I’m so proud that the work of the Prevention First Citizens’ Panel has been recognised through such a prestigious award. We have members covering all groups within the commissioned services and we appreciate the opportunity to make a real difference for people who use the services. Coming up to 20 years of the Panel’s existence this has validated all of our achievements and we look forward to many more years of supporting Birmingham City Council’s commissioning of services.”
Cllr Mariam Khan, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: “This is fantastic news and so well-deserved. The Citizens’ Panel has been working so hard for so many years to help make life better for communities, giving up their time to make a difference for vulnerable citizens in Birmingham. Their work reminds us of all the ways fantastic volunteers are contributing to their local communities.”
The King’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by local volunteer groups to benefit their communities.
As well as supporting the council’s commissioning, they train others, sharing skills and expertise, including the West Midlands Combined Authority citizens evaluation group. While many groups disbanded during the pandemic, this group learned new skills, enabling them to meet online. Coming out of the pandemic the group is participating in region-wide co-production training with Birmingham City Council staff, enhancing and refreshing their skills. Laptops have been donated by the city council through WMCA funding to support the Citizen’s Panel continue their support to commissioning activities.