TWO long-serving members of the 1st Redditch Boys’ Brigade Company, based at The Bridge Church, Headless Cross, have been presented special awards in the name of the Queen.

Alexander Sampson and Jack Wheale, both 18, who live in Redditch, have earned coveted Queen’s Badges.

The prestigious awards, the highest achievement in the Boys’ Brigade movement, were handed over in a ceremony which included the 125th Anniversary of Boys’ Brigade in Birmingham, which took place at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

The Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands, Paul Chandrasekharan Sabapathy CBE, made the presentation at the Birmingham Battalion event, which brought together other achievers from Boys Brigade companies from all over the West Midlands - 41 young people in total.

The Redditch Boys Brigade contingent, who joined the 1st Redditch Company in the junior section from the age of eight, have shown dedication, determination and desire in their bid to achieve.

Spokesman Andy Kimberley said: "As Captain of the 1st Redditch Company, these are the first young men I’ve had the pleasure of following through this tough challenge and I can’t think of two lads more deserving of this top award.

"They’ve both worked really hard and at all stages they have been brilliant ambassadors and role models for the Boys Brigade and earning their Queen’s Badges is a deserved reward for their efforts over a long period of time.”

The Queen’s award is presented in recognition of completing a series of challenging sections which are made up of volunteering at Boys Brigade sessions and in the local community, skills, physical, and coursework.

In recognition for their outstanding work they have put onto their Queen’s Badge course they have additionally been invited to separate prestigious events.

Jack was asked as one of 10 from the 41 recipients of the Queen’s Badge to be a steward at the Queen’s garden party at Buckingham Palace which he said was an amazing day.

Alex was one of two young men from Boys’ Brigade England and one of only 10 from BB UK and Republic of Ireland to form an honour guard for the First World War commemoration at Glasgow Cathedral on Monday, August 4, with HRH Prince Charles one of the VIP guest that went through the guard of honour.