TWO DROITWICH community champions have been awarded British Empire Medals in The Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Tonia Enderbury, the Chief Officer of Droitwich CVS, received her BEM for ‘services to the community in Droitwich Spa and District’.
Craig Browne, vice-chairman of Droitwich Rugby Club (DRFC), was handed his for ‘services to Charitable Fund-raising and Volunteering during Covid-19’.
The pair were both instrumental to supporting the people of Droitwich during the coronavirus pandemic.
During the first lockdown, DRFC partnered with Droitwich CVS to deliver food and support to the whole Wychavon community.
The scheme provided 16,000 meals, along with help and support, via food parcels and wellbeing packs.
People gave up their time to ensure Droitwich and the surrounding areas were covered and people received everything they needed.
Droitwich CVS took calls and requests from those in need whilst Droitwich RFC converted the club house to allow the organisation to purchase, source, package and distribute the food parcels to the local community.
Tonia, who is married with a 21-year-old son and lives in Kidderminster, said: “Being told about the award was a complete shock and very humbling when someone has taken the time to nominate you.
“I want to dedicate it to all the incredible volunteers and staff we work with – we had more than 150 volunteers come forward during the pandemic to help out and could not have done it without them.
“It has been a very challenging year where our role in the community has changed and we have had to adapt.
“We started out with the food parcels, then we handed out wellbeing bags, treats and crafts because we found it was just as important to keep people’s spirits up as it was to ensure they had food and everything they needed.
“Some people cried when we handed them items because they were so happy someone was thinking about them.”
The CVS transport scheme has also been helping people get to their Covid vaccination appointments and other places they have needed to be.
Craig, who was born and bred in Droitwich, added: “It’s fantastic recognition for all the hard work of so many people – all the volunteers from the club.
“I found out about a month ago and it was a complete surprise.
“Because of Covid, letters are not being sent out and the notification came via email – the logos were a bit blurred so I thought it was a scam or some of the players winding me up.
“I called up to check it was genuine and I was absolutely gobsmacked when I was told it was true.
“We have been working hard to try and make the club a real community venue and it is obviously working.
“Hopefully the award will also help put Droitwich on the map.”
It comes less than two months after the visit of HRH The Princess Royal Droitwich Rugby Club members and Droitwich CVS for all they have done to support the local community during the pandemic.