|Eunice receives Queen's award|
Evening Mail - June 15, 2004
By Poppy Brady, Evening Mail
A veteran community leader who launched a youth group from the ashes of the Handsworth riots 20 years ago, has received a Queen's award for her work.
Mother-of-four Eunice McGhie-Belgrave, who is 69, has been given a Queen's Golden Jubilee Award for her years of work in the inner city.
Eunice , who came to this country from Jamaica in 1957, has already been awarded the MBE and last year was recognised as one of the Evening Mail's Local Heroes.
She launched her community group Shades of Black in the wake of the Handsworth riots after so many youngsters were roaming the streets.
"We set up the group to rebuild and reconcile the community and reassure people," said Eunice, who is also passionately involved with a gardening project at Uplands Allotments, in Handsworth.
"After the riots, myself and other mothers couldn't work out why some youngsters weren't growing up as they should do, so we decided to try and help out."
The project has since expanded to help the elderly and the housebound and take them on day trips, as well as the thriving allotments scheme which introduces city youngsters to the joys of growing their own food.
Eunice was nominated for her award by Yardley library worker and friend Faydene Gillings-Grant.
She will visit St James Palace on July 19 to receive her award from the Queen and will travel with fellow Shades of Black workers Sonia Hyman, William Stevens and Maxine Maxwell.