On a sunny September afternoon, Brandon Marsh Nature Centre hosted the prestigious award giving ceremony where volunteers who have worked tirelessly for the last five decades received their Queen's Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) from the Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire. A host of volunteers past and present, local dignitaries and representatives from Warwickshire Wildlife Trust celebrated the efforts of a team who have committed over 100,000 hours of work since forming in 1968.
Karl Curtis, Director of Reserves and Community Engagement for the Trust, said “The commitment and hard work of all Brandon Marsh Voluntary Conservation Team (BMVCT) volunteers past and present is worthy of this recognition. Brandon Marsh Nature Reserve, on the doorstep of Coventry, is a healthy and vibrant place for wildlife due to the group’s knowledge and dedication. They work in all weathers to practically manage and enhance the wetlands, woodlands and meadows for a huge variety of local wildlife. Plus, our visitors get to benefit from their labour too, with a nature-rich place to enjoy. We extend our thanks and congratulations to them for their outstanding work.”
Brandon Marsh Voluntary Conservation Team Chairman, Dave Evans, said “The award was completely unexpected by the team, and you only had to look at our faces at the presentation to see it meant more to us than we can express. We are deeply honoured to receive this prestigious award for over fifty years of effort by a raft of volunteers, many of whom are no longer with us, and hope this inspires more people to volunteer their time and skills to worthwhile causes.”
The QAVS is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work done in their own communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of The Queen's coronation and is the MBE for volunteer groups.