A committed team of volunteers at Salford’s Ordsall Hall, which is managed by Salford Community Leisure, has received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
Volunteers’ Week 2019 runs 1-7 June which thanks people for their contributions. Volunteers work incredibly hard and their work is rewarding but there’s no greater honour than when Her Majesty The Queen acknowledges you.
Volunteer manager David Potts applied for a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and in May two of the volunteers, Sue Coutts aged 78 from Eccles and Helen Johnson, aged 73 from Worsley attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace along with other nominees of this year’s Award.
Little known to any of the volunteers, the Ordsall Hall team had actually won a coveted award and manager David kept it a secret from the team until the official announcement on Sunday 2 June. David organised a celebratory afternoon tea after closing time at Ordsall Hall and surprised his team of 30.
Typical duties of the volunteers include meeting, greeting and welcoming visitors, orienteering and signposting, answering questions, delivering tours, bringing the past alive with stories and anecdotes, assisting with events and maintaining the hall and gardens.
Speaking about the exciting news, volunteer manager David Potts, said:
“Since we re-opened to the public in 2011 after a substantial restoration project it has been my pleasure to work alongside a group of passionate and dedicated volunteers with the single aim of helping to ‘bring the past to life’. Some volunteers have spent weeks with us, others months, and some many years! All have been an integral part of the Ordsall Hall family and worked tirelessly to ensure that all visitors receive a warm welcome and experience a great day out. Needless to say that I am thrilled to announce that they have been recognised at the highest level and are now the worthy recipients of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) and I couldn’t be more proud of them.
Ordsall Hall is one of 281 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations and awards has increased year on year since the awards were introduced in 2002, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.
Representatives of the Ordsall Hall volunteers received the award from Deputy Lieutenants Sue Lomas OBE DL and Lorraine Worsley-Carter MBE DL. The nomination for Ordsall Hall’s volunteers was pitched around them being ‘committed to bringing to life the history and stories of Ordsall Hall, Salford’s hidden gem’.
Volunteer Sue Coutts from Eccles, said:
“We’re very grateful to David for nominating us. I’ve been with Ordsall hall for eight years and I absolutely love the hall and I love telling people all about it.”
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Winners are announced each year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse. They include volunteers helping people overcome mental health problems through sport, volunteers using caravans as mobile cafe/information centres in geographically remote locations and another group mentoring children who have a parent in prison.
Another volunteer, Steve Jones, aged 72 from Ordsall who has done the most amounts of volunteering hours at 5500, said:
“I’m still shocked and delighted that we won this award. I started volunteering at Ordsall Hall after the restoration in 2011, having taken redundancy from work and looking for activities in my local community. I did not want to dress up as a Tudor or give tours, but this is exactly what I do every week and I love my work and meeting all our visitors.”
Alison Short at Project Communications 07530 732 071, projectcommunicationsAS@gmail.com.
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