Buxton charity receives highest honour as volunteers help community through pandemic

Staff and volunteers at a Buxton charity are celebrating after being honoured with the highest award in the UK.
Volunteers and staff at the Zink Project.Volunteers and staff at the Zink Project.
Volunteers and staff at the Zink Project.

The Zink Project, based in Buxton, and serving the High Peak andDerbyshire Dales, has been honoured with the ‘Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service’, the highest award a charity can receive.

The charity started out as High Peak Foodbank and in the last fiveyears, it has grown to do more to support High Peak people living inpoverty.

This includes several employment programmes, an advice service and the opening of the Buxton Community and Wellbeing Café.

Zink usually relies on around 50 volunteers in addition to 12 staff butduring the pandemic some volunteers have had to isolate.

Working with partners in Chapel en le Frith and Buxton Street by Street, staff and volunteers at Zink have been able to get food to struggling families at this time of crisis.

Zink also launched a ‘Corona Employability Service’ in March to help people made jobless as a result of the pandemic to find work.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstandingwork by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities.

Recipients are announced each year on June 2, the anniversary of the Queen’s coronation.

Zink’s CEO, Paul Bohan, said: “We are delighted to win this award thatrecognises the work, particularly of volunteers, at Zink.

“It is a tribute to them and a way of thanking them for the time they dedicate through Zink to helping families and individuals in need in the High Peak.

“It has come at a time when our foodbank service, High Peak Foodbank,has been busier than ever and the award means a lot more to us becauseof that.”

Representatives of Zink will receive the award from ElizabethFothergill CBE DL, Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire, later this summer.

Furthermore, two volunteers from Zink will attend a garden party atBuckingham Palace in May 2021, along with other recipients of thisyear’s award.