A local voluntary group from Silkstone and Silkstone Common who have been working tirelessly for over 28 years to improve and maintain their local environment has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAV) – regarded as the MBE for voluntary groups in the UK.
Working closely with Silkstone Parish Council and Barnsley Council, the group dedicate their spare time to helping care for, and improve the local area for the whole community to enjoy. Activities include taking care of three natural woodlands, maintaining the station gardens, up-keep of various public spaces, caring for over 20 planters and carrying out regular litter picks - the list is by no means exhaustive!
Two of the groups longest serving members who’ve over 30 years involvement - June and Tony Fieldsend, attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace on 15 May where they met the Queen and other awardees of this year’s prestigious award.
Silkstone CARE Group is one of 250 volunteer-led groups to receive the award this year, which is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK and acknowledges exceptional service within local communities. The group will receive the award from HM Lord-Lieutenant of South Yorkshire later this summer.
Bill Barkworth, Chair of Silkstone CARE Group, said: “The Queen’s Award is a fantastic achievement for what is a small group of volunteers. It is also a testament to all the volunteers, past and present who have over the last 30 years turned out in all weathers to work and make our village environment something to be proud of and enjoyed.”
Cllr Jenny Platts, Cabinet Spokesperson for Communities, said: “This is an exceptional achievement from one of our local voluntary groups and a fabulous tribute to all our dedicated volunteers that contribute so much to improve their local communities. The fact that the groups been running for 30 years is inspirational and I’m delighted they’ve received the recognition they deserve.
“They’re a wonderful example of the difference that can be made when local people come together – it makes our communities stronger, more resilient, take ownership and achieve great things!”