Queen's Award 

A mental health charity which received vital funding from The Consolidated Charity in 2017 has gone on to receive a prestigious Queen’s Award.

Changes Tamworth is a small, independent charity which has been helping people with recovery from mental health issues since 2016 when it was founded by Yvonne Street.

Working with Tony Colbourne and six volunteers, Yvonne offers a 12-step support programme that helps people who receive her free services.

The Consolidated Charity gave Yvonne a £3,100 grant which was vital in helping her get Changes on its feet and secure further support.

She said: “We had nothing at the time and were doing market stalls just to pay the rent, so we are always grateful for that funding which set us on our way.

The charity operates in Burton through Peel Croft Surgery.

Yvonne said: “The doctors there are amazing and open minded to everything. Covid has set us back but we hope that will return to normal soon and we haven’t stopped supporting people.

“I have been calling 60 people a week, which is not my job, but we needed to keep that contact with people and keep them on track. It’s so important to have someone to speak to.

“There are no magic pills for dealing with mental illness, but we help people to learn to live with it, not suffer from it.

“We have 400 odd members and 1,600 followers on Facebook.”

The Queen’s Award is the equivalent of an OBE and acknowledges the outstanding work Yvonne and her team are doing.

Yvonne said: “The Queen chooses the recipients herself so it’s amazing to come from nowhere and achieve this honour. It’s unbelievable.”

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ONE of Burton’s oldest and most important charities is looking to recruit a volunteer trustee with specialist knowledge in the nursing or care sector.

The Consolidated Charity of Burton is an endowed charity which aims to benefit the residents of Burton by providing almshouse accommodation and by making charitable grants to individuals in need and to organisations which serve the community.

The charity regularly hands out tens of thousands of pounds in grants to key organisations as well as responding to individuals in need and supporting young people with education bursaries.

It has given grants to churches, village halls, sports clubs, theatre groups and many more organisations in the town as well as providing white goods, carpets and other essentials for individuals and families who have fallen on hard times.

The charity’s Chairman Ben Robinson said: “We provide a vital lifeline to the people of Burton and are here to support residents and organisations when they need it the most.

“The charity has a long and proud history and is run by a group of trustees who give up their time and expertise to lend a helping hand.

“We are now looking to recruit a new trustee who has worked in either nursing or the care sector and can bring some useful experience to our group.

“It’s an unpaid role but is very rewarding and anyone who is interested can get in touch with the clerk’s office for more information.”

It is thought that the Consolidated charity dates back to the 16th century to the time of the dissolution of Burton Abbey and the craft guilds. However, the first recorded reference appeared in 1709 when there was an inquiry into the condition and administration of the Town Lands charities which were later to be amalgamated into the Consolidated Charity.

Many of the leading figures in Burton history have supported the charity.

Amongst the early benefactors were William Finney, Abbot Beyne School, Lady Paulet, Ellen Parker, Richard Allsopp, Francis Astle, Richard Bowle, Mrs Almond, Mr Robinson, and Elizabeth (Beth) Johnson. Over the centuries the charity has gradually accumulated a number of town properties, workhouses, almshouses and financial bequests from a wide variety of sources.

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Call the clerk’s office on 01283 527067.