Tag: birmingham

The Feast receives a Royal Award

The Feast is honoured to share that we have received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in the 2015 Queen’s Honours announced today.  This is the highest award a charity or voluntary group can received in the UK.

QAVS_MBE_StrapWe have been recognised for our work connecting young people of different faiths and helping them learn how to build friendships, explore differences and make lasting change in their community.

Founded in Birmingham in 2009, The Feast now operates in Bradford & Keighley, Tower Hamlets, Luton and Beirut in Lebanon, and specialises in youth community cohesion.

One of our patrons and the Bishop of Birmingham, the Right Reverend David Urquhart said:

“I am very pleased to see The Feast recognised with this prestigious award.  Their work with young people in diverse cities like Birmingham is extremely important and making a real difference by reducing prejudice and increasing friendships.”

The Feast is one of 187 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the award this year. The number of awards handed out to groups have increased by over 60% from 2014, due to an increase in high quality applications, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to tackle community challenges.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work in their communities. The awards were created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and winners are announced each year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. Award winners this year range from Ablaze, a charity helping to raise academic achievement amongst disadvantaged young people in Bristol to a volunteer rescue boat service on Loch Lomond.

The Feast will receive the award from the Lord Lieutenant of West Midlands later this summer.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Committee Chair, former broadcast journalist Martyn Lewis CBE said:

“I warmly congratulate all of the inspirational voluntary groups who have been rewarded for their community work with a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. 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 spare time to help others in their community and to help solve problems demonstrate the best of democracy in action.”

Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson, said:

“I would like to congratulate all groups who received this year’s Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, in recognition of their fantastic achievements.The hard work and commitment that goes into the work of these organisations is surpassed only by the passion and motivation of the individuals who volunteer. I hope these groups continue to inspire others to get involved and make a positive impact so that
 we can continue to build a bigger, stronger society.”

The Feast CEO, Tim Fawssett, said:

“Receiving the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is a huge encouragement to everyone involved with The Feast.  It is totally unexpected and we hope will raise up many more young people and volunteers to join us building more vibrant communities, despite our differences.

As a part of our award Tim and volunteer Faraz Ahmed from The Feast were invited to  attended a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace on 20th May, hosted by the Queen and joined by other winners of this year’s award.IMG_8034-e1433199307272

Introducing Tanya Srokosz – Field Development Manager

I’m Tanya. I’ve recently moved back to Birmingham (for the third time!) and on 5 January I started working for The Feast UK as the Field Development Manager. While this has nothing to do with farming, I have moved to pastures new many times in my life. These experiences have been part of my journey and decision to join this team.

Having worked in a variety of teams, environments and sectors, I have seen first-hand the beauty of diversity, but also the challenge it can bring. As a Christian, grappling with how my faith interacts with these different situations has been really important to me. I started to think about this when I was studying for a Physiotherapy degree at Birmingham University. How did my faith interact with my work in the NHS? Deciding that Physiotherapy was not the career for me, I moved on to an internship with a charity who spoke up about religiously-motivated violence around the world. My focus was on India.  Feeling this was a little far away from the world that I lived in, I became a family support worker in east Birmingham with the hope of learning more about communities in Birmingham and the struggles many of them are facing. Wanting to be even further embedded in community, I moved to London and joined the Ladbroke Grove Eden Team which is a church-based team living and volunteering on a council estate in the west of the city. Alongside this I worked initially as a behaviour mentor in a secondary school and then moved to work as an account manager progressing to account management team leader for a company called The Key. The Key supports school leaders and governors.

When I was planning a move back to Birmingham (to be nearer my boyfriend) I heard about this role at The Feast and loved that my background and experience could be brought together to support such great work. In fact, one of my previous colleagues said “only you could combine your love of eating with your faith”!

It is a real privilege to be joining this team and I am looking forward to the opportunity to support The Feast’s youth workers across the country to develop the great work they are already doing – and there is much for me to learn along the way!