Volunteers from three community and faith organisations that have received a Queen’s Award for 'outstanding community service' have been given a civic reception by the mayor of Barking and Dagenham as a 'thank you'.

Queen’s Awards have been given to the Humdum food kitchen, Dagenham’s Kingsley Hall centre and Barking’s Al Madina Mosque.

They are among charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups across the UK getting the award for supporting their communities; the highest number this year going to food banks, village shops and fundraising groups.

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The reception was held at Barking Town Hall where staff and volunteers from the three organisations were invited for tea with the mayor.

“Their support for people is outstanding,” deputy council leader Saima Ashraf said. “We can’t begin to scratch the surface of the work in the community when so many people are faced with soaring living costs.

“These organisations are invaluable, putting people at the heart of what they do. Humdum provides hot meals to people, while Kingsley Hall and Al Madina provide safe spaces and community services.”

The Queen's Award is the highest honour voluntary groups can get in the UK, equal to an MBE, with 244 organisations receiving it this year.

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The Humdum charity is run by a team of volunteers who prepare fresh hot meals several times a week for people who are facing hardship.

It works with grassroots projects helping homeless hostels, care homes, those referred by the NHS and the Bookbike charity that has delivered 7,000 books by bike so far to deprived households across east London.

Kingsley Hall church and community centre at Parsloes Avenue in Becontree first opened nearly 100 years ago.

It has attracted tens of thousands of people since 1929 who have come to pray, celebrate and find friends in times of peace and times of crisis.

The community hub with its café, pre-school and church fellowship caters for hundreds of people a week.

The Al Madina Mosque in Victoria Road run by the Barking Muslims Association trust has also become a community hub over the last 30 years, acknowledged as “a beacon mosque” to other places of worship.