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Five Shropshire groups to be honoured in 2020 with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

Friends of Telford Park gardening group

Five Shropshire groups to be honoured in 2020 with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

We are delighted to announce that five Shropshire groups are to be honoured in 2020 with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. This is Britain’s highest award for voluntary groups, for charities and for social enterprises. It is given to groups of volunteers working and benefitting others, to make life and lives better.

Often described as the MBE for voluntary groups, this award was created by the Queen in 2002 in celebrating her Golden Jubilee. Recipients are announced each year on the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation, 2nd June.

The Award aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups for the benefit of their local communities and is a wonderful accolade for largely unsung heroes. Most of those living in Shropshire know they live in a beautiful place. Our county is made all the more beautiful by the joint endeavours of people trying to make it better still, for individuals, for their communities and for society as a whole. Winners in 2020 are:

  1. Community Education in Death Awareness & Resources (CEDAR). CEDAR runs a youth programme called Life Lessons. This unusual programme works in a classroom/group setting, teaching young people how to talk about death, dying and loss in healthy ways among their peer group. Both bereaved and non-bereaved young people work together to reduce social isolation and build community resilience.
  2. Foodbank PLUS (Barnabas Community Projects). Supporting the individual and the community, Foodbank PLUS not only supports those in crisis but also empowers people to develop skills, build relationships but most importantly recognise their own value, and contribution they make to our community. Foodbank PLUS is compassionate and speaks on behalf of those without a voice.
  3. Friends of Telford Town Park. This group promotes and participates very considerably in the maintenance and improvement of the Town Park for the benefit of both the local community and its visitors. Excellence is underpinned by the commitment and dedication of volunteers of all ages and varied backgrounds, who continuously work to improve the Town Park.
  4. Newport and District Agricultural Society. The Society’s objectives are to promote agriculture, the environment and the rural community. It achieves this by organising the Newport Show showcasing the best of British agriculture. The Society also runs its own educational workshops. It has held 110 annual shows and delivers highly valued community educational services.
  5. The Shrewsbury Ark. The Shrewsbury Ark is a drop-in centre for homeless and vulnerable people. It is a unique facility in Shropshire, offering support to those who may feel left behind by society, or who fall between the gaps in other welfare support arrangements.

Group representatives will receive the award from Mrs Anna Turner JP, Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire later this summer. Two volunteers will be invited to attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2021.

Some words from our Lord-Lieutenant (Mrs Anna Turner JP): “The successful award winners are a reflection of the huge amount of generous, innovative work done in the County. The work they do is done selflessly for the benefit of others, but at the same time is hugely enjoyed. Every time I hear of a group that is worthy of this prestigious award I feel a glow of warmth and pride that we have a County so conscientiously doing so much to enhance our community. I would like to thank the winners and also thank the other nominations who have not picked up an award this year but nevertheless were of an extraordinarily high standard and prove that volunteering thrives at a grass roots level in Shropshire.”