Team members from a day centre in Leicester providing vital support to homeless people have received High Sheriff Awards in recognition of their service to the community.

No.5 day centre’s Diane Taylor, a Senior Recovery Worker, who has worked at the centre for almost 24 years, and members of the New Testament Church of God who cook a weekly meal for service users, received the awards from Mrs Henrietta Chubb JP, High Sheriff of Leicestershire, on Wednesday, February 21.

The centre is managed by social enterprise Inclusion Healthcare and provides homeless people with housing advice, activities, a coffee bar and access to washing facilities, phones and the internet. It is also a safe place for street drinkers to access support and engage with partner services.

The first High Sheriff Award was presented to the volunteers from the New Testament Church of God, who have provided more than 60 hot lunches at No.5 every Wednesday for two years.

The High Sheriff said: “No.5 is almost unique in the city; offering a place for people who are struggling with homelessness and substance misuse which they can’t do without.

“The incredible meals provided by these ladies mean a lot to the people who use this facility and they do it out of the goodness of their heart.”

Yvonne White, one of the church volunteers, said: “I wasn’t looking for recognition like this – to cook for these people creates a joy in my heart.”

The second award went to Diane Taylor who the High Sheriff described as No.5’s ‘backbone’.

She said: “You have the respect of so many people you have helped. It is tough what you do, and you have my admiration. You make people feel seen, heard and, more importantly, you give them hope.”

Diane had been aware that the High Sheriff was going to present an award to the church volunteers but was astonished to learn she was also receiving an award.

She said: “I’m so shocked. I do what I do because I enjoy helping people. It’s important that vulnerable people and people from diverse communities can come here and get support.”

Diane was nominated for her award by Wayne Henderson, Inclusion Healthcare’s Mental Health and Substance Misuse Nurse and Director of Specialist Services.

He said: “We couldn’t see No.5 running without Diane and wanted to show her how much we all appreciate the work that she’s done.

“Our support for No.5 is an example of Inclusion Healthcare’s commitment to partnership working. By working together we can achieve more.”

Inclusion Healthcare and its dedicated team have delivered vital healthcare to asylum seekers, homeless people and other marginalised groups in Leicester for 25 years, gaining national recognition for supporting individuals with complex needs.

For more information about Inclusion Healthcare, visit https://www.inclusionpractice.co.uk.