Royal honour for Lancaster volunteers

Ian and Suzanne Proctor, representing the Fairfield Association, Lancaster, at the royal palace party.
Ian and Suzanne Proctor, representing the Fairfield Association, Lancaster, at the royal palace party.

A community group set up to protect green spaces in Lancaster has received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

The Fairfield Association, a registered charity, has been given the royal award in recognition of their excellence in voluntary activities.

This award was created by The Queen in 2002 to mark the occasion of her Golden Jubilee and is classed as the MBE for volunteer groups.

“The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is a great honour and a wonderful way to mark 21 years as a volunteering community.”

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. Ian (volunteer organiser) and Suzanne Procter went to the party to represent the association and collect their award.

The association was formed by residents and friends of the Fairfield area of Lancaster in October 1996, in response to the threat of housing development on a long-established children’s play area, Fairfield Green.

They went on to save the play area and become involved in many other projects.

Over their 21 year period volunteers have refurbished Fairfield Green play area and created the Millennium Orchard and the Fairfield Flora and Fauna Nature Reserve.

Work on the Aldcliffe Road Triangle is also nearly completed.

Fairfield volunteers maintain all of these areas (more than 50 acres in total) for people to enjoy.

They also organise many community events to raise money to keep it all going. Their next fundraising event will be at the Open Garden at Carr House Farm on Saturday July 1 and Sunday July 2 where they will be running the tea and cake stall and selling The Fairfield Association Cakes and Bakes Recipe Book.

The Fairfield Association aims to follow this objective: “The preservation, enhancement and maintenance of public areas and amenities in the city of Lancaster, in particular the Fairfield area, for the benefit of the public.”

If you would like to join the group please go to www.fairfieldassociation.org, where you can find full details of how to become a volunteer, member or friend.

The association will be celebrating their anniversary at their annual general meeting on June 20 at 7.30pm in the Friends Meeting House.

Meanwhile a Lancaster singer is one of the many organisers to be recognised by the Queen for their creation of a Yorkshire music festival.

Volunteers behind the Grand Northern Ukulele Festival in Huddersfield have been given the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

Mary Agnes Krell started the festival with partner Robert Collins and Lancaster friend, Kris Ball alongside Audra Jeppson, a performer based in Virginia, America.