Posted Tuesday June 04, 2019 by Melissa Reilly

Lanark in Bloom and the volunteers at Castlebank Horticultural Centre have been awarded a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. Known as the ‘MBE for volunteer groups‘, this is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK to recognise exceptional service within their communities.

Lanark in Bloom have been enhancing the local quality of life and putting a little colour into their town since 2004, and volunteers at Castlebank Park have worked tirelessly to regenerate and transform the park’s gardens which had become neglected and unused for years. The groups are based at Castlebank Horticultural Centre, you can read more about the centre here.

From Orkney to Oxfordshire and Stranraer to Somerset, the number of organisations receiving a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service has risen again this year – with 281 in total. It is granted to exceptional volunteer groups across the UK who are making a positive impact on the lives of others.
This year’s recipients are incredibly diverse and innovative, from the Rural Coffee Caravan Information project in Suffolk, which combats rural isolation by providing a mobile community cafe and information centre, to Calum’s Cabin in Rothesay that provides a holiday retreat on the Isle of Bute for children suffering from cancer and their families.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Independent Committee Chair Sir Martyn Lewis, said: The record number of nominations for this year’s Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service proves that volunteering at a grassroots level continues to thrive. This year it is a real pleasure to congratulate 281 winners – all with strong reputations for successfully tackling a wide variety of issues and problems in their communities. They are powerful examples of real democracy in action. We know there are thousands more local organisations doing great work, and I would strongly encourage those people who have seen them in action or benefitted from their activities to consider nominating them for next year’s awards. They are the highest our country can bestow on groups of volunteers.

Minister for Civil Society and Sport Mims Davies said: Volunteers make an incredible difference to so many people’s lives and their communities. These prestigious awards recognise the wonderful work being done by many voluntary organisations across the country. I’d like to offer my sincere congratulations to all the worthy winners for their continued hard work and dedication.

The recipients of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service are announced every year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

Any volunteer-led group comprising two or more people that are making a positive impact on the lives of other people in an exceptional way can be nominated for an award. A group must satisfy the eligibility requirements before the nomination can be processed through to the assessment stages of the award. More details can be found on the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service website.

Nominations for the 2020 awards close on 13th September 2019. Find out how to nominate an organisation.

Read the full list (PDF, 123KB, 14 pages) of the winners.

Find winners near you on our map.

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