MORE than two hundred people turned out to celebrate Mahdlo’s Queen's Award for Voluntary Service this week.

Volunteers, young people, staff and members of the local community joined in with the celebrations at a garden party themed event on September 4.

Before presenting Mahdlo volunteers with the organisation’s president Sir Norman Stoller said: “What makes Mahdlo volunteers extra special is the way in which they find time to provide their expertise and amazing support to our young people, despite having to cope with their other family and work pressures too.

“Because of this, although we have more than 130 wonderful people who mentor, teach, encourage and support here, only a small number can be present today.

“We want to say a massive thank you to them all, and their badge, which I know will always be worn with pride, will be waiting for them on their next visit.”

Sir Norman also paid tribute to the local police force, whose members spend much of their scarce leisure time building a healthy relationship with Mahdlo’s young people, training and encouraging them in sport and other positive outlets.

The Mahdlo Youth Zone is now in its seventh year and owes its success to the way in which The Oldham Council, Oldham educationalists and Oldham industry provide support and encouragement as we progressively prepare our future citizens for the world of work.

Terry Flanagan, chair of the board, said “The award is a great tribute to the hundreds of volunteers who have helped make Mahdlo such an inspirational and amazing place for the young people of Oldham.

“Without the dedication and support our volunteers bring Mahdlo would not be able to support young people and help them be the best they can be.”

Since opening in 2012 Mahdlo has created around 750 volunteering opportunities for local residents, many of which have progressed into paid employment with the charity or other local youth organisations.

Scarlett Ash, volunteer coordinator added: “Volunteering is a great way to meet new friends, learn or try something new, all people need is a few hours each week and the passion to get involved.

“Anyone who is considering volunteering, whatever their age or background, should get in touch. I’d love to hear from you and discuss how you can be a part of team Mahdlo too.”