Passionate and inspirational local Solihull businesswoman of Gro-Organic CIC has been honoured for her services to the local community.

Sarah Treanor has been recognised in the 2022 New Year’s Honours List for services to the community in Solihull and Birmingham, particularly during Covid-19, and awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM).

Sarah said “It was a wonderful surprise and an absolute privilege to be honoured with the British Empire Medal (BEM) especially as a local organisation at a national level.  I’d like to say a big thank you to my team for all their years of hard work and support, and the communities we operate in, without them this would not have been possible”.

“Time and time again residents and young people in some of the most deprived and overlooked areas of Birmingham and Solihull have proven that given the opportunity, guidance, and leadership, they absolutely lead the way in transforming their communities. With the ongoing cuts in community led provision, which in the past have been vital for communities to thrive, local people are turning to trusted grass roots organisations like us for help, where they are believed in and have the support and mentoring which enables them to reach their true potential.”

At Gro-Organic, we are passionate about empowering and building strong, resilient communities. In 2010 our founder, Sarah Treanor and a team of residents decided to start an urban gardening club to tackle the environmental and social issues that were left following a huge neighbourhood regeneration programme. As the popularity of the club grew, Sarah sought support from the Prince's Trust, which enabled her to successfully graduate from their Enterprise Programme. And so Gro-Organic was born. From the seed of what started as a small idea, we have now grown into a hugely successful award-winning social enterprise, who annually support over 6000 service users and 300 volunteers and transforms local spaces. Our diverse range of activities and services provide opportunities for everyone to lead healthier and happier lives and enjoy the benefits of improved social networks, right in the heart of their communities

Sarah said “During a challenging year, our team has worked incredibly hard to ensure we delivered a high-quality service, as always putting our communities at the heart of every decision. I am incredibly proud of the way our team have adapted our service to reach more people than ever before. With many of our projects being delivered virtually for the first time, we hope we have paved the way for new methods of working and reaching families and communities in their homes”.

This will be the second time that Sarah will attend Buckingham Palace, having been awarded The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service 2019. The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) is the highest award given to UK volunteer groups and is equivalent to the MBE.  Our Dig It crew, a community team of supported volunteers living with mental health conditions, physical disabilities, or chronic ill health and the community project has supported and positively changed the lives of over 95 supported volunteers to date by providing positive outdoor experiences, were instrumental in us receiving this award.