The Mayor, Cllr June Harrison, presented certificates to three Hyndburn voluntary organisations at Thursday’s Council meeting in recognition of their Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

Cath Holmes and other reps of the Hyndburn Green Spaces Forum with the Mayor Cllr June Harrison

Representatives from Hyndburn Green Spaces Forum, 1st Oswaldtwistle (St Paul’s) Scout Group and DanceSyndrome received their prestigious award from the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire earlier this year and also attended a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.

Volunteers from the Green Spaces Forum help to protect and promote the green spaces and parks in Hyndburn, work to secure external funding for community projects, provide help and assistance on community consultation and community events, and also work with the council to secure Green Flag status for the borough’s parks.

Cllr Harrison said; “Congratulations to Hyndburn Green Spaces Forum, 1st Oswaldtwistle (St Paul’s) Scout Group and DanceSyndrome.  This award is richly deserved as the members of these three groups, who are all volunteers, give their time and energy so freely to make where they live a better place for all. We’re lucky to have these groups of community volunteers here in Hyndburn, we really appreciate the great work that they do and it’s marvellous that they have been recognised nationally now with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.”

Cath Holmes, Chair of Hyndburn Green Spaces Forum, said: “We were bowled over and humbled to even be nominated for this award, so to have achieved this accolade is such an honour.  Every volunteer involved should be so, so proud and we thank all of them for their dedication, determination and the work they do freely to benefit the community and Borough of Hyndburn.”

1st Oswaldtwistle Scout Group (St Paul’s) have been in existence since 1911 and their Leaders, Beavers, Cubs and Scouts do lots of great work in the community.

Stephen Lowe Chair and reps from 1st Oswaldtwistle (St Paul’s) Scout Group with the Mayor Cllr June Harrison

Stephen Lowe, Chair of 1st Oswaldtwistle Scout Group, said “We’re extremely honoured to represent Oswaldtwistle and Hyndburn and to receive this prestigious award.”

DanceSyndrome is an award-winning charity which provides inclusive dance workshops and leadership training for people with and without disabilities.

DanceSyndrome Founder Director Jen Blackwell said, “Wow, I’m just stunned and over the moon.

It is the most amazing thing ever. I could never have thought DS could have won this award when we started out 10 years ago when it was just me with no one, nowhere to go, no other dancers”.

DanceSyndrome Managing Director, Dawn Vickers, said; “For charities like DanceSyndrome the Queens Award for Voluntary Services is the highest honour that we can achieve, and we are thrilled to have been chosen to receive the award this year. DanceSyndrome wouldn’t exist without the hard work and dedication of our incredible volunteers and we are delighted that their effort has been recognised at such a high level!

Dawn Vickers Managing Director of DanceSyndrome with the Mayor Cllr June Harrison

Council Leader, Cllr Miles Parkinson, added;” Congratulations to Hyndburn Green Spaces Forum, 1st Oswaldtwistle (St Paul’s) Scout Group and DanceSyndrome, they are all brilliant examples of how volunteering can make a real difference in your community, well done to them all.”

The three groups are among 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.

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.