Hope North East receives Queen's Award

Volunteers and staff at a Middlesbrough charity have been praised for their work with recovering addicts.

Hope North East was presented with the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service at a ceremony on Tuesday.

The charity runs abstinence-based drug and alcohol recovery programmes and also supports the homeless.

Lord Crathorne, presenting the award on behalf of the Queen, told the volunteers they had made a difference to hundreds of lives.

He said: "It's something that everyone involved with the organisation should be very proud of."

The award is the highest recognition given to volunteer groups in the UK and the equivalent of an individual receiving an MBE.

Ruth Hicks, the charity's chair of trustees, paid tribute to the dedication of everyone who had been involved in the project since it was established four years ago.

She said: "It's extremely rare for an organisation as young as Hope North East to receive this award."

Volunteers have worked a total of 10,000 hours for the charity, many of them after receiving help for their own addictions.

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