Posted Thursday July 18, 2019 by Melissa Reilly



On Thursday 18th July, Lanark in Bloom and the volunteers at Castlebank Horticultural Centre were presented with 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.

The award was presented at Castlebank Horticultural Centre by Lady Susan Haughey, Lord Lieutenant of Lanarkshire. Lady Haughey was accompanied by Vice Lord Lieutenant Gavin Whitefield CBE, and Depute Lord Lieutenant Millar Stoddart.

The recipients of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service are announced every year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. In this year’s awards, the Lanark in Bloom and Castlebank volunteers are the only recipient of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in Lanarkshire.

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 Horticultural Centre have worked tirelessly to regenerate and transform Castlebank Park’s gardens which had become neglected and unused for years. Both of the groups are based at Castlebank Horticultural Centre, a rural hub for horticultural training, education and volunteering opportunities within Castlebank Park.

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.

On receiving the award on behalf of the volunteers, Ernest Romer, Chairman of Lanark in Bloom, said: “It’s a huge honour to receive this award – it’s all down to the volunteers and their hard work over the years!”

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.

To find out more about Castlebank Horticultural Centre, please visit this web page.

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