Online Centre Access to Business wins Queen’s Award

by Jonathan Bradwell, Network Specialist (Comms)

A couple of weeks ago, Wolverhampton-based Access to Business were the deserving recipients of a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the award presentation at the Wolverhampton City Council offices.

The award is the highest accolade a voluntary organisation can earn, and to see a member of the Online Centres Network recognised at this level is fantastic. It was something that clearly meant a great deal to the staff at the centre after 20 years of hard work.

Special event for a milestone achievement

The impact that the centre has in the city is evident by the large number of people that were in attendance. I met with volunteers, staff members, funders, and a variety of other individuals who, at some point, have been associated with the centre.

Three very special guests took part in the presentation, each speaking enthusiastically about the projects and support that Access to Business deliver. These were:

  • Elias Masih (Mayor of Wolverhampton)
  • Major Sylvia Parking (MBE TD JP DL)
  • Dr Satya Sharma (MBE DL).

Josie Kelly, CEO of Access to Business, told me after receiving the award that:

The partnership with Good Things Foundation through the Online Centres Network is invaluable in helping us deliver digital skills training through Learn My Way.

It's just one of the many ways in which Josie and the team are improving the lives of vulnerable people in the city

Commitment to helping those in need

Access to Business give detailed support to job seekers and budding entrepreneurs with a focus on developing basic digital skills and Learn My Way is one way in which they do this.

From there Project Manager Sue Whittaker progresses learners onto further learning.

Budding business owners lacking basic digital skills have the option of attending a Google Digital Garage programme. This takes learners through areas like basic digital marketing. Learners that complete all the courses on Google Digital Garage achieve an IAB Europe and Google certification for their CV.

Join me in congratulating the entire team by sending a few kind words on Twitter.

If your centre has recently received an award or similar recognition, we want to know. Share your great news with us by emailing