Lancaster charity celebrates royal award

From left, Elaine Weedy, Professor Mick Short, Mandy Bannon, John Weedy, Hilary Short, Lord Shuttleworth, Ruth Haigh, Shirley Rawsthorne, Sue Nieduszynska, Dr Ian Procter, Suzanne Procter and Cadet Warrant Officer David Nickson.
From left, Elaine Weedy, Professor Mick Short, Mandy Bannon, John Weedy, Hilary Short, Lord Shuttleworth, Ruth Haigh, Shirley Rawsthorne, Sue Nieduszynska, Dr Ian Procter, Suzanne Procter and Cadet Warrant Officer David Nickson.

A Lancaster environmental charity celebrated receiving the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service at a special ceremony.

The Fairfield Association gathered to commemorate the royal recognition presented by Lord-Lieutenant Shuttleworth.

The association has been recognised for its work “creating and maintaining more than 50 acres of green space in Lancaster for the benefit of the local community.”

They were one of five voluntary organisations in Lancashire to win the award, described as the “MBE for voluntary groups.”

“It is a great honour to be recognised and the award has already helped us in a number of ways,” said Hilary Short, chair of the Fairfield Association trustees.

“This helps to spread the word that there is a small nature reserve close to the railway station in Lancaster to be enjoyed by all.

“We hope our award will encourage others in Lancaster to come together and volunteer in the realisation that volunteering makes a community and can make things happen.”

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

The Fairfield Association has been operating for 21 years and currently have 375 members.

The area now maintained by the association has grown from less than an acre to more than 50 acres of green space and welcomes around 50 regular volunteers.

The Queen’s Award panel highlighted their reasons for selecting Fairfield Association from hundreds of entries.

They said: “The volunteers give up their time to enhance, protect and conserve the area for the benefit of the community in Lancaster.

“The space includes a play area, a community garden by the canal, a community orchard and a nature reserve which are incredibly popular and provide a quiet haven for thousands of people.”

The picture shows from left, Elaine Weedy, Professor Mick Short, Mandy Bannon, John Weedy, Hilary Short, Lord Shuttleworth, Ruth Haigh, Shirley Rawsthorne, Sue Nieduszynska, Dr Ian Procter, Suzanne Procter and Cadet Warrant Officer David Nickson.