Staff and volunteers at Huddersfield-based Holocaust Centre North have been presented with the King’s Award for Voluntary Service.

The award, announced on the King’s birthday last November, was presented by His Majesty’s representative, Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire Ed Anderson CBE, to centre director Dr Alessandro Bucci.

The award is the highest a local voluntary group can receive in the UK and is equivalent to an MBE.

The presentation, which took place at the centre at the University of Huddersfield, was attended by officials, supporters and guests including the centre’s chair and artist Jenny Kagan, High Sheriff of West Yorkshire Prof Adeeba Malik CBE DL, Deputy Mayor of Kirklees Clr Liz Smaje and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield Prof Bob Cryan. Long-serving volunteer Michael Sharp also gave a speech.

Holocaust Centre North was founded by survivors and their descendants as the Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association. It is described as being more than just an exhibition and learning centre. It is a community, a source of hope, friendship and a vital hub for the region.

Its volunteers participate in a diverse and vital range of projects and activities to not only tell the global story of the Holocaust but to do so through local stories from those who subsequently created new lives in the north of England.

Dr Bucci said: “We are so very proud to have received this award. The volunteer community is an essential part of what we are about and this award highlights their commitment and vital contribution to our work.”

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