Avon Valley Railway volunteers honoured by the Queen

Posted on Wednesday 22nd June 2011 at 8:31 am by SH (Editor)

The Avon Valley Railway (Bitton) has been announced as one of 130 winners of The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the MBE for groups of volunteers who work in their local community for the benefit of others.

This prestigious UK National Honour recognises outstanding voluntary contributions and sets the national benchmark for excellence in volunteering, with the work of those awarded being judged to be of the highest standard.

Avon Valley Railway has received the award for restoring and preserving the local railway heritage, providing a leisure facility and operating its trains for educational and instructional purposes.

Those receiving this year’s award were selected from 413 groups nominated by members of the public who have been helped personally or witnessed the benefits of a group’s work in their community.

Avon Valley Railway received a certificate signed by The Queen and an exclusive commemorative crystal, presented by Her Majesty’s representative in the ceremonial county of Gloucestershire (which includes South Gloucestershire Unitary Authority) Dame Janet Trotter at a special ceremony arranged by the Lieutenancy office.

The group has also received an invitation for representatives to attend a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in the summer.

Dame Janet said: “I am delighted by the success of the Avon Valley Railway.   I recently took a ride on the train and could see just how much energy and effort is taken by an army of volunteers to sustain the railway and ensure it supports the community in all sorts of innovative ways. It is a model of good practice and deserves this accolade. ”

14 groups from Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire have now won received this annual Award since it was created by Her Majesty to mark the occasion of her Golden Jubilee in 2002.

For details of all this year’s award winners and information on how to nominate a group, visit www.direct.gov.uk/qavs, where a nomination form can be downloaded.

In 2012, The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service will be celebrating its 10th anniversary in Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee year.  There will be further announcements on activities to mark the anniversary of the Award in the autumn.

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