A charity which Wolves supporters have supported for two decades has today received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
POWER PLEAS, a voluntary-run charity which provides wheelchairs for local children, have benefited from a partnership with Tettenhall Rotary Club to run annual collections before a match for the last 20 years.
The partnership was helped to get off the ground particularly thanks to the efforts of Wolves’ Vice-President Baroness Rachael Heyhoe-Flint, whilst Wolves Aid supported this year’s anniversary collection by matching the funds received to take the fee to £5,000.
The QAVS is given to voluntary groups carrying out work that:
• provides a service and meets a need for people living in the local community.
• is supported, recognised and respected by the local community and the people who benefit from it.
• is run locally.
With the help of Tettenhall Rotary Club, in particular Eric Johnson, over £65,000 has been raised from these collections and as a result of the fundraising, and generosity of Wolves supporters for the last two decades, a total of 20 wheelchairs have been donated to local young people, which amounts to a fifth of the total number of wheelchairs the charity has financed.
POWER PLEAS was first set up in 1987 at a meeting at Colton Hills School and is run completely by a voluntary committee of parents, recipients, health and education professionals. The charity has provided powered wheelchairs and other mobility aids for young people in the Wolverhampton area.
Several representatives of the charity – Dr Deepak Kalra, Pat Escott, and Paula and Mike Davies will attend a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace tomorrow. POWER PLEAS will receive an engraved Crystal Dome and a signed certificate from the Queen on an occasion to be announced.
Keith Berry, Chairman of POWER PLEAS, said: “We are all very proud to be receiving this Award and thrilled for all the people who have given of their time and made donations over the past 27 years.
“There are so many people we would like to thank, including Rachael Heyhoe-Flint and everyone at Wolves, and Eric Johnson and all at Tettenhall Rotary Club, for their unstinting support, also our voluntary webmaster, Phil Knight.
“Every one of the wheelchairs we have donated has made a massive difference to the life of a young person, and there are so many wonderful stories behind the generosity which has been shown.
“The very first recipient of a wheelchair from a Wolves collection 20 years ago was Darren Langston, who suffers from severe cerebral palsy. Darren, now 39, is a staunch Wolves supporter who is now a member of the POWER PLEAS committee and has helped to collect at almost all of our collections.
“As Paula and Mike’s son Michael Davies said, in the years before he passed away at the age of 18, POWER PLEAS has given me back my legs.
“Long may that continue to happen for local children.”
*Congratulations from all at Wolves to Power Pleas and also to SUIT, the Service User Involvement Team which has also received the QVAS. The organisation trains recovering addicts and empowers those suffering from addiction to move forward with their lives and start contributing positively to themselves and society as a whole. Wolves Aid and Wolves Community Trust have also assisted SUIT in the past.