In a remarkable recognition of community spirit and dedication, the Wotton Community Sports Foundation (WCSF) has been bestowed The King’s Award for Voluntary Service. This is the highest award a local voluntary group can receive in the UK and is equivalent to an MBE.
WCSF, who manage Wotton Community PARC, a 38-acre sport and recreational site, is one of 262 local charities, social enterprises, and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. Home to a vibrant array of sports clubs and community initiatives, the PARC serves as the hub for Wotton Rovers Youth Football Club, Wotton Hockey Club and Dursley Ladies Hockey Club, Wotton Rugby Club, the popular Wotton parkrun, and a community skatepark. It also features a tranquil orchard and a sensory garden, enriching the lives of locals with a variety of recreational and leisure activities. The work of WCSF, alongside other awardees from across the UK, highlights the significant contributions of volunteers in enhancing local communities and improving lives.
The King’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognize outstanding work by local volunteer groups to benefit their communities. Created in 2002 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee, the award continues under His Majesty The King, who has emphasized his desire to sustain this tradition of honoring volunteer service.
Recipients are announced annually on 14th November, The King’s Birthday. This year’s winners are wonderfully diverse, including groups like a social support network for disabled adults in Banffshire, a charity operating a refurbished pool as a community hub in South Wales, volunteer doctors providing pre-hospital care in rural Cumbria, and a village renewal organization in County Antrim advocating for sustainability, equality, and social inclusion.
Representatives of WCSF will receive the award crystal and certificate from Mr. Edward Gillespie, Lord-Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, later this summer. Additionally, two volunteers from WCSF will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May and June 2024, alongside other recipients of this year’s Award. Simon Weston, Chair of WSCF, says: “On behalf of all our trustees and stakeholders, we are thrilled to be recognized with this award. It represents thousands of hours of volunteer effort and the transformation of the site into the community asset that it now is. We are now focused on developing our plans for a social and sports hub building on the site.”
With the honour of The King’s Award, WCSF stands as a shining example of how volunteerism and community collaboration can create a lasting positive impact.