ONE of the last charity awards to be made by the late Queen Elizabeth has been officially presented to a group in West Somerset.

The Hope Centre, in Minehead Baptist Church, Parks Lane, achieved recognition by the Queen during the past summer.

Last week, Somerset’s retiring Lord Lieutenant Annie Maw visited the Christian charity to formally present the award to its volunteers in one of her last official engagements.

The award, which is the highest a local voluntary group can receive, was accepted during a short ceremony by Hope Centre trustee Paul McCabe.

Fellow trustee Ian McLaren said: “The award is recognition of all the amazing volunteers, past and present, who over the last 11 years have cooked and cleaned and spent time with our clients, helping them, laughing with them, and sometimes crying with them.”

The Hope Centre supports people in West Somerset facing homelessness, loneliness, anxiety, or any other disadvantage, or who have problems associated with drugs or alcohol.

It aims to use Christian hospitality, friendship, support, advice, and hope to help people put their lives back on track. Drop-in sessions are held on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday each week with support from a team of three part-time project workers and more than 20 volunteers.