Middleton-based DAZL (Dance Action Zone Leeds) and their group of volunteers based across the city have been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
DAZL is a dance and health organisation and charity supported by Leeds Public Health to improve the physical and mental health of the most deprived communities of Leeds. This year they celebrate 21 years of supporting the communities of Leeds through dance as a creative pathway. Throughout the pandemic the DAZL Volunteers delivered dance sessions across the city, food parcels and vital support to communities.
DAZL is one of 241 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations remains high year on year, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate The Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Recipients are announced each year on 2nd June, the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation. Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse.
They include volunteer groups from across the UK, including an inclusive tennis club in Lincolnshire; a children’s bereavement charity in London; a support group those living with dementia and their carers in North Yorkshire; a volunteer minibus service in Cumbria; a group supporting young people in Belfast; a community radio station in Inverness and a mountain rescue team in Powys.
Representatives of DAZL will receive the award crystal and certificate from Ed Anderson, Lord-Lieutenant of West Yorkshire later this summer. Furthermore two volunteers from DAZL will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2022, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.
Melissa Peacock, a DAZL Volunteer, says:
“It is fabulous that DAZL have been awarded the Queens Volunteer Award. As a volunteer I get to see the inclusivity of all of the work they do. No one is left out, all of society is included. Get involved and be part of the DAZL family. To give a small amount of my time each week has been returned to me tenfold in many ways. Skills I have learnt, support I have received and most importantly the joy of seeing the DAZL family grow”
Ian Rodley DAZL Director says:
“This is truly an honour and comes at a time where giving back to the community is more important than ever. I am so thankful and humbled by this award and so happy that our volunteers have been recognised for everything they do for DAZL and the communities we serve.”