THE outstanding work of four voluntary groups from the area was recognised this week when it was announced that they would receive the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK

Bay Trust Radio, Ford Park Community Group, Lakeland Horticultural Society and Clapham Community Shop, which are all run by volunteers, have won the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, and representatives from all four groups travelled to Buckingham Palace for a garden party to celebrate their achievement.

Bay Trust Radio, based in Kendal for more than 40 years, has worked tirelessly to provide a high quality radio service with a focus on health and wellbeing to patients in hospitals, as well as the wider community.

“I am immensely proud of our team for the work that they do every day for our charity and I am delighted that everybody’s work has been recognised,” said Bay Trust Radio station president John Williamson.

“Our volunteers provide a much-needed service for local people and to be recognised with this prestigious award is absolutely amazing.”

Lakeland Horticultural Society is based at Holehird Gardens, which covers 12 acres in Windermere and celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

“We are delighted to receive this award, which recognises the tremendous work done by all our LHS volunteers over the past 50 years,” said LHS chairman Alan Oatway.

“Holehird Gardens today is known and loved by local people and visitors alike, but it would not exist without the dedication and commitment of our volunteers, both past and present.”

Ford Park Community Group have maintained eight acres of walled parkland at the eastern end of Ulverston for 20 years.

The park provides playing fields, a playground, walled garden, orchard, café and the group organises many events and an inclusive volunteering programme and is a fine example of volunteers managed by the community for the community.

“This award is a real tribute to 20 years of dedicated volunteering from all the wonderful people who have helped in so many different ways to make Ford Park the fantastic community asset it is today,” said Shirley-Anne Wilson, Acting Chair of Trustees for the group.

Clapham Community Shop is run by more than 40 volunteers and sells groceries and essentials and acts as a hub for prescriptions, dry cleaning and ticketing.

The shop also provides a vital social function for Clapham and nearby Newby and Keasden.

All the awards will be officially presented later this year by the Lord Lieutenants of each group’s home county.