Lord-Lieutenant of Merseyside presents the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service to the Friends of Birkenhead Park

At the Visitors Centre in Birkenhead Park, the Friends of Birkenhead Park formally received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) from Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant Mr Mark Blundell on 29 September.

The event attended by the High Sheriff of Merseyside, Mr Nigel Lanceley, the Mayor of Wirral, Councillor George Davies and the Merseyside Lieutenancy Assessment Team of His Honour John Roberts, Dr Ruth Hussey, and Professor Sir Ian Gilmore was a very special moment for the Volunteers in being recognised for their commitment over many years in maintaining Birkenhead Park as a place for the community to enjoy.

The Friends help local people develop a sense of community ownership of the park and allows them to speak out in its interests. The Friends of Birkenhead Park have developed a wide range of volunteering activities and have delivered educational programs and skill-training workshops.

The group seeks ways to enhance the profile of the park by improving awareness of its historical and heritage significance. The Friends played a major role in the conversion of a piece of derelict area on the edge of the Park now known as, ‘The Edward Kemp Community Garden’ into community gardening plots which provide a basis for learning and practising horticultural and gardening skills.

In presenting the award the Lord-Lieutenant said to the volunteers, “You have helped turn this Park from a no-go area into an area visited by thousands of people every year. You have dedicated thousands of hours of undertaking a variety of volunteer projects including converting a disused piece of land into an inclusive community garden and growing area. The Friends of Birkenhead Park have with just cause, caught the selector’s eye, and have been granted the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2021.”

The Chair of The Friends of Birkenhead Park said, “It is a great honour for the Friends to be recognised by Her Majesty’s highest award for any voluntary group.

“Therefore, we hope to continue to live up to that recognition in our future work for the Park. Our activities embrace the local community through health walks and the growing and harvesting of fruit and vegetables at the Edward Kemp Community Garden. Our ongoing reward will be that residents and visitors value our continuing commitment to this beautiful Grade 1 Historic Park and support our bid for World Heritage Status.”

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