Birmingham charity Narthex Sparkhill, based at St John's Church, has been awarded nearly £450,000 by the National Lottery to continue running a food bank and help local people in crisis.
Since 2011 the charity has been operating Sparkhill Foodbank from premises on Bard Street. This grant will allow it to move to larger premises and extend its services supporting local people in crisis.
Earlier this summer the contribution of the charity’s 100+ volunteers was recognised when it was given the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The official presentation of the Queen’s Award by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant Simon Topman MBE will also be taking place in Sparkhill today.
On the announcement of the Queen’s Award Mr Topman said: “They are changing the culture in Sparkhill and creating a community spirit to confound those who thought that such values were lost.”
Mr Topman went on to say:
“Narthex has a quite exceptional group of volunteers, admirably led and all working towards a vision that goes way beyond the provision of sanctuary, food and clothes. They are highly innovative, as demonstrated by their satellite food and clothes banks at the QE Hospital and in Fire Stations (it speaks volumes that so many want to copy this initiative). They are changing the culture in Sparkhill and creating a community spirit to confound those who thought that such values were lost. After many years of assessing Queen’s Awards for voluntary service, I have never found an organisation who deserve it more or whose very existence ushers in profound change for the better in an area that so badly needs it”.
At the presentation the charity will also be announcing that the Rt Revd Anne Hollinghurst, the Bishop of Aston is to become the Charity’s new Patron.