MyGen news team crowned with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

Stop the press! We are thrilled to announce that our community reporter news team have been awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

As the UK’s first older people’s-led news team, covering news, views and nostalgia from across Greater Manchester, all while challenging ageist stereotypes, we are delighted that the hard and consistent work of our volunteers has been recognised and celebrated.

We are one of 244 local charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year – the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK and is equivalent to an MBE.

Our team will receive an award crystal and two of our lucky reporters will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2023.

Bob Alston, volunteer Tameside reporter and magazine designer and editor, said: “I am over the moon that we have received this award. I have been on the team since the start of the project and have loved watching it grow with all of our hard work and dedication. We are all so proud of being the first UK’s older people’s led news team.

“We have all learnt something new or have refreshed an old skill or interest whilst volunteering here and have all made great friends in the process. I can’t wait to see how big our community can grow and continue to change the record on growing older in Greater Manchester.

“And it is made even more special to receive this award in the Queen’s Jubilee year.”

The team create news stories, videos and podcasts every month covering news, views and nostalgia from across Greater Manchester – all while challenging ageist stereotypes.

Stories the community reporters cover range from national issues like fuel poverty and effects of the pandemic on mental health, to looking back at childhood memories, podcasts with actors and authors, sports reports, video vox pops at conferences and Pride events and reviews of vegan restaurants or gigs.

Kirsty Day, Media Director of social enterprise Yellow Jigsaw, which manages the Talking About My Generation project, said: “I am so chuffed at this announcement. It is so well deserved. This team of volunteers first got together in 2019 and have gone from strength to strength – with their dedication to reporting never waining through the pandemic. Some joined the team having never listened to a podcast, being in front of a camera, written a news report or had the confidence to speak at a conference and now they have all the skills of any regional news team, thrive in this environment and are now training up new volunteer community reporters so they continue to grow and give a voice to older people across Greater Manchester – showing they are valuable not vulnerable.

“They enjoy 2.9k unique users to our website every month, and have a fan based of more than 5000 on Facebook communit. Thank you once again to our whole team and of course, the amazing readers and fans.”

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

Other winners include a rural support group for farmers in Shropshire, a community magazine addressing isolation in the Western Isles, a running club engaging all ages in County Tyrone, a film academy and community hub based in South Wales, and a food bank in Greater London.

Learn more about the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service here.

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Our award-winning team of reporters volunteer their time to bring you news, views and nostalgia from the over 50s community in Greater Manchester. Support the team’s running costs: spare a few quid and buy them a Ko-Fi, now!

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