Penge Green Gym Community Group receives the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, 2019
6th June 2019
Penge Green Gym Community Group [also known as Friends of Winsford Gardens] receives the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, 2019
Penge Green Gym Community Group, a group of volunteers based in Penge, south east London have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
Since 2013, the Penge Green Gym Community Group has been transforming a neglected park, Winsford Gardens, in Penge [part of the London Borough of Bromley] into a safe and welcoming environment for the local community to enjoy, and an open space in which wildlife can thrive. We have successfully overcome challenging obstacles to lead, inspire and engage the local community and the Council such that Winsford Gardens in now a highly-regarded public asset. Our local volunteers meet weekly to carry-out gardening activities, and through such activities improve their own mental and physical health. The community group was initially established [in 2011] as a Green Gym, under the auspices of The Conservation Volunteers.
Representatives from Penge Green Gym Community Group attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.
Penge Green Gym Community Group 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.
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.
Representatives of Penge Green Gym Community Group will receive the award from Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE, Lord Lieutenant of Greater London later this summer.
Penge Green Gym Community Group’s Chair, Brenda Little says:
“we are absolutely thrilled that the hard work, resilience, tenacity, adaptability and forward-looking mind-set of our long-standing group of volunteers has been honoured nationally in this way”.