Cotswolds AONB Voluntary Wardens Given Queen’s Award

Photo shows Rebecca Jones, John Shaw, and Jean Booth at Buckingham Palace. 

The team of Voluntary Wardens who support the work of the Cotswolds Conservation Board has recently been given The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK – to recognise outstanding work done in their own communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of The Queen’s coronation. It is the MBE for volunteer groups.

Any group doing volunteer work that provides a social, economic or environmental service to the local community can be nominated for the award. Each group is assessed on the benefit it brings to the local community and its standing within that community.

Local assessment panels look at all the nominations and decide which to send to the National Award Committee, which then makes recommendations to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), and sends a final list to The Queen for her approval. Our Head Warden, John Shaw, and our Volunteering Coordinator, Rebecca Jones, both attended The Queen’s Garden Party on 31st May in celebration of all 2018 award winners.

Martin Lane, Director of the Cotswolds Conservation Board, said, “The Cotswolds Voluntary Wardens put in over 48,000 hours of work this year, across a diverse range of projects – so this award and the garden party were a wonderful recognition of their dedication to this beautiful region. We look forward to seeing what they achieve over the next 12 months!”

John Shaw, Head Warden, said, “This award recognises 50 years of commitment and achievement in making the Cotswolds a great place to be, thanks to the passion, creativity and drive of our Voluntary Wardens. For half this time we have truly appreciated the tireless guidance, support & encouragement of our Coordinator Becky Jones“

2018 is the 50th anniversary of the Volunteer Wardens in the Cotswolds AONB, and the celebratory theme is education, and reaching the next generation to care for the Cotswolds. The Wardens have been working in education for over 10 years, and this year the Cotswolds Conservation Board has funded a free activities folder with more fantastic opportunities than ever for schools to access the Cotswolds. In 2017-18, over 1,400 pupils participated in education activities run with the Wardens. In addition, the Board is working with an artist to go into 10 schools or groups to produce artwork based on the pupils’ experiences of the Cotswolds.

For more information about The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Work: https://qavs.direct.gov.uk/ or https://twitter.com/QueensAwardVS