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02 June 2019

Four outstanding voluntary groups receive a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

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,. 

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 - 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.”

Four outstanding voluntary groups receive a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service