Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal Trust has been presented with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service for 2016
On the afternoon of Wednesday 13 July the Canal Basin at Over was packed with over 90 flag-waving H&G Canal Trust volunteers lining the sides of the Basin and on the heritage boats kitted out in the H&G CT livery colours of yellow and black.
H&G CT friends and supporters looked on as the Lord-Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, Dame Janet Trotter DBE, arrived in a Lanchester vintage car accompanied by Air Vice Marshal Mike Smart DL, representing the Lord-Lieutenant of Herefordshire, Countess of Darnley. The Right Worshipful Mayor of Gloucester, Councillor Neil Hampson, and the Right Worshipful Sherriff and Deputy Mayor of Gloucester, Councillor Said Hansdot, were in attendance.
Dame Janet Trotter quoted the citation from the QAVS assessors before presenting the Queen's Award for Voluntary Services to H&G Canal Trust's Chairman, Janet Moult, in the sunshine. An extract from the citation is as follows:
“The Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal Trust is an exceptionally well organised and managed group of dedicated volunteers which has been working ever since 1992 to restore this 34-mile Canal which joins Hereford with the navigable River Severn at Gloucester. The Trust and its remarkable volunteers in both counties are achieving substantial benefits for local communities. This is a vibrant and thriving example of the power of volunteering. we have no hesitation in recommending it for a Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.”
After the presentation Dame Janet Trotter, Mike Smart and the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Gloucester took a little boat trip down a half mile stretch of the Canal, from Over Basin north-westwards to Vineyard Hill. Finally they enjoyed tea and homemade cakes with all the volunteers on the terrace at The Wharf House, the restaurant-with-rooms overlooking Over Lock and the River Severn, where eventually the restored Canal will join the River Severn.
Following the event, Dame Janet wrote to H&G CT:
“I can quite understand why the QAVS assessors heaped praise upon the volunteers who do so much and so faithfully to restore and preserve this waterway.”
H&G Canal Trust is one of 193 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups nationally to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of awards given to groups this year is slightly higher than last year, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to tackle community challenges.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work in their communities. The awards were created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and winners are announced each year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.