Queen’s Award for Clapham community shop

Shop committee outside Clapham Community Shop.
Shop committee outside Clapham Community Shop.

Clapham Community Shop and its enthusiastic community of volunteers has received The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, 2019.

This is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK in recognition of outstanding work done in their own communities.

Sue Mann, chair, and Liz Mason, volunteer, at Buckingham Palace at the event recognising volunteers.

Sue Mann, chair, and Liz Mason, volunteer, at Buckingham Palace at the event recognising volunteers.

It is the MBE for volunteer groups.

Sue Mann, chair of the Shop Committee, said: “I’m so proud of the community and what we have achieved together, building on the work of those who have helped us create the outstanding shop we have today.

“In just five years we have built a vibrant and sustainable community hub. This is an incredible effort and my thanks go out to all those people who have contributed, in so many different ways, to our success.”

In May, two weeks before the official announcement, Sue and Liz Mason, one of the first volunteers, represented the shop at an event at Buckingham Palace which recognised public service across a wide range of fields.

Liz Mason, who has been a volunteer since the beginning, said: “It was a real privilege and I was delighted to be asked to represent the community. I really wanted to tell everyone we were going to Buckingham Palace, but we had to keep it secret until the Queen’s official announcement in the London Gazette on June 2.”

Across the whole of Yorkshire and Humberside only a handful of volunteer organisations receive this prestigious award each year, and just 250 across the country.

Many of the shop volunteers and committee were involved with the inspection visit in January.

Two of the Deputy Lord Lieutenants for North Yorkshire visited the shop on behalf of the Lord Lieutenant, the Queen’s representative in the county.

They visited the shop first hand, but unfortunately the timing coincided with the shop being closed for refurbishment.

However, the panel met the committee and went to a lively volunteer training session in the village hall instead.

Iain Crossley, a member of the Shop Committee and chair of Clapham Community Action Group, said: “This award shows what can be achieved by rural communities; a village shop and primary school are vital for families and young people to be able to live and work in the Yorkshire Dales.”

Clapham Community Shop is owned and run by the community, for the community. Clapham has a strong history of self-help; when the local shop and post office closed it was taken on by the community and is now run by volunteers.