A CHILDREN’S charity which has been supporting Barnsley’s youngsters for more than 20 years were presented with their King’s Award last weekend.

The Exodus Project and their volunteers - based in Barnsley town centre - received the King’s Award for Voluntary Service back in November.

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

The group provide activity clubs and weekends away for children and young people in Barnsley, providing a space for children to have fun and reach their potential.

They were presented with the award by the Lord-Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, Professor Dame Hilary Chapman, in a special ceremony on Saturday.

Project manager Jack Dutton told the Chronicle: “Our 74 volunteers were excited to find out we’d won the award in November and even more excited to come along to be presented with it last Saturday.

“Exodus has been supporting children and young people in Barnsley for 24 years now and throughout these years we have always worked alongside volunteers.

“We heard from a few of our volunteers on the day, who spoke about Exodus being a life line to them and like a second family.

“Dame Hilary shared some of her positive experiences of Exodus and how she valued the work we do in Barnsley.

“Volunteers are vital to the work we do with children and young people - our board of trustees are all volunteers who also give up their time to guide us.

“Many of the volunteers in our activity clubs are young people that have previously been members of our clubs.

“They find the work we do rewarding to them and feel they want to give back by volunteering their time once they are old enough.”