It has today been announced that the following groups led entirely by volunteers have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK – the MBE for volunteer groups:
- Aspatria and District Community Charity Association
- Bay Trust Radio
- Ford Park Community Group
- Lakeland Horticultural Society
Aspatria and District Community Charity Association have raised over £300,000 over the last 21 years by running a charity shop in a rural West Cumbrian town, and donates every penny to local community groups. It supports a wide variety of local groups and provides inexpensive access to high-quality goods.
Bay Trust Radio, based in Kendal for over 40 years, has been very innovative working tirelessly to provide a high quality radio service with a focus on health and wellbeing to patients in hospitals, as well as the wider community.
The radio station broadcasts 24 hours a day, run entirely by volunteers and the support of local people and businesses. Bay Trust Radio has been broadcasting since 1977, originally for hospitals in Kendal and has since expanded to broadcast to people across South Cumbria, Morecambe Bay and the Fylde Coast.
Representatives from Bay Trust Radio attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May, along with other recipients of this years’ Award. The charity is one of 281 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations and awards has increased year on year since the awards were introduced in 2002, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.
John Williamson, Station President, said: “I am immensely proud of our team for the work that they do every day for our charity and I am delighted that everybody’s work has been recognised.
“Since starting in 1977 a lot has changed but the exceptional level of commitment from our volunteers and support from local people is stronger than ever before. Our volunteers provide a much-needed service for local people and to be recognised with this prestigious award is absolutely amazing.”
Bay Trust Radio is run entirely by volunteers. If you are interested in joining the team, get in touch by visiting baytrustradio.org.uk/join-us or call 03302230056.
Ford Park Community Group became a charity 20 years ago to save and maintain for the community of Ulverston the 8 acres of walled parkland at the eastern end of the town. The Park provides playing fields, a playground, walled garden, orchard, café and the group organises many events and an inclusive volunteering programme: an example of volunteers managed by the community for the community.
Lakeland Horticultural Society have uniquely created and maintained a 12 acre garden at Holehird, Windermere, with the aim of demonstrating best practice in gardening in Lakeland conditions. They provide inspiration, education and practical gardening expertise for local people and pleasure to visitors from around the world, all year round.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is an annual award made to recognise and reward the most exceptional and innovative groups who provide voluntary led activities carried out by local groups in the community. It is a highly competitive and prestigious award and only about half of the nominations can expect to win. The award was announced in 2002 as part of the celebrations for The Queen’s Golden Jubilee, and was first known as The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award.
Any group of two or more people doing outstanding volunteering work can be nominated for the award. The majority of the group must be volunteers, and more than half the volunteers must have the right to live in the UK. The groups should also have been running for 3 years or more to be eligible.
To be nominated they should do work that:
- provides a service and meets a need for people living in the local community
- is supported, recognised and respected by the local community and the people who benefit from it
- is run locally
Winners receive a certificate signed by the Queen and a domed glass crystal. Representatives from the group may also be invited to attend a royal garden party.
For further details about the award and how to nominate visit – https://www.gov.uk/queens-award-for-voluntary-service/overview
Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Cumbria, Mrs. Claire Hensman said: “The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest accolade for any voluntary organisation. Here in Cumbria, the voluntary sector is thriving and I am thrilled that some of our organisations have achieved national recognition. I’d like to congratulate Aspatria and District Community Charity Association, Bay Trust Radio, Ford Park Community Group and Lakeland Horticultural Society Volunteers for their tireless work and commitment to the communities they serve. They are all thoroughly deserving of this 2019 award.
Volunteers are the glue that hold our communities together. There are many more voluntary groups across Cumbria doing excellent, innovative work enhancing the lives and experiences of many people in their local communities. If you know of an exceptional voluntary group who meets the above criteria then please nominate them by midnight on the 13 September 2019 for them to be considered for the 2020 Queens Award for Voluntary Service.”