Northampton charity gets award from the Queen as it marks 30th anniversary

The Mayor of Northampton, Naz Choudary, has chosen The Lowdown as his charity during his mayoral year.
The Mayor of Northampton, Naz Choudary, has chosen The Lowdown as his charity during his mayoral year.

A Northampton young persons' charity has been given a top accolade by the Queen for its counselling services.

Celebrations were held at The Lowdown yesterday as the voluntary charity raised a glass to 30 years of supporting young people since opening its doors on July 1, 1989.

Volunteers, trustees, staff and supporters of The Lowdown all popped into the birthday party yesterday to indulge in a slice of cake and cup of tea.

Volunteers, trustees, staff and supporters of The Lowdown all popped into the birthday party yesterday to indulge in a slice of cake and cup of tea.

Lord Lieutenant of Northampton, David Laing presented bosses in Kingswell Street with The Queens Award for Voluntary Services - the highest accolade a voluntary group can receive in the UK, which recognises outstanding work by volunteer groups.

Sixty-two volunteers at The Lowdown work together to provide free and confidential counselling services, sexual health and LGBTQ groups for 11-25-year-olds in Northampton.

The Lowdown CEO Sharon Wormersley said: "This is an exciting year for The Lowdown and it is wonderful that in addition to celebrating our 30th birthday that our achievements have been recognised with the Queen’s Award.

"Volunteers are vital to our service and I would like to thank all those that have supported The Lowdown and young people over the last 30 years - 2019 is the year that keeps on giving."

The prestigious award was handed over to the charity by the Lord Lieutenant of Northampton.

The prestigious award was handed over to the charity by the Lord Lieutenant of Northampton.

When it first opened in the 1980s the charity mostly helped those experiencing social problems such as homelessness and unemployment but over time its main focus became mental health and the provision of one-to-one counselling.

The Lowdown has supported more than 60,000 young people through counselling, sexual health support, LGBTQ support, and outreach and training, which would not have been possible without the hard work of hundreds of volunteers.

Many of whom were trained by the agency itself and, more recently, have been studying on counselling-related courses at the University of Northampton.

This year the lowdown is focusing on reducing waiting times for young people accessing the one-to-one counselling service, expanding the LGBTQ offering and launching a new wellbeing service in August this year.

Pictures taken by Kirsty Edmonds.

Pictures taken by Kirsty Edmonds.