Updated: Sunday, 9th August 2020 @ 8:23am

Curtains up! Salford’s Lowry workers honoured with Royal Award for voluntary service

Curtains up! Salford’s Lowry workers honoured with Royal Award for voluntary service

| By Nsofwa Kangwa

The royal honour is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK, celebrating the outstanding work that millions of people do for their local communities.

Created in 2002 to mark The Queen’s Golden Jubilee, the award aims to showcase volunteer groups that seek to provide a social, environmental or economic service to their outside community.

In a letter obtained exclusively by MM, The Lowry Chief Executive, Julia Fawcett OBE, described the volunteers’ achievement as ‘testament’ to their dedication.

“This is all testament to the dedication and service each and every one of you delivers to our visitors and demonstrates that you are an integral part of The Lowry’s mission,” wrote Fawcett.

“On behalf of all the Directors and our Trustees I just want to say how thrilled we are that you have been recognised with this national award and thank you for your continued support.”

The announcement comes in perfect timing of National Volunteering week, an annual seven-day celebration that recognises the valued contribution of millions of volunteers make across the UK.

Volunteers at the art and theatre complex in Salford take on roles from ushering, programme and merchandise selling to implementing health and safety across the three auditoria at the Salford site.

To obtain the award, a local assessment and nomination to the National Award Committee (NAC) was made that considered the positive impact the nomination would spread across the wider and surrounding community.

Once this decision was made, the NAC made a recommendation to the Cabinet Office, which then sent a final list of recipients to The Queen for approval.

In light of the Lowry’s achievement, two volunteers that were selected via a ballot traveled to London last week to attend a garden party hosted by The Queen at Buckingham Palace, along with other recipient groups from across the country. 

The same selection process will be used to choose the volunteers that will attend the official presentation ceremony in Manchester this August.

Though there are also plans to hold an event big enough for the entire 300-strong voluntary workforce to attend in the late summer.

With hundreds of applications made to join the sought-after scheme each year, The Lowry gives priority to budding volunteers from Salford and also to those aged between 18 and 25, to keep in line with its community and engagement ethos.

Julia Fawcett OBE, chief executive of The Lowry, said: “Our volunteers are an integral part of our operation and we are thrilled they have been recognised with this national award.

“They are one of the reasons The Lowy is so rooted in the local community - and we couldn’t ask for a better welcome for our visitors.”

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Committee Chair, former broadcast journalist Martyn Lewis CBE said: “I warmly congratulate all of the inspirational voluntary groups who have been rewarded for their community work with a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

“The judging panel for this year’s awards were struck by the quality and breadth of all the successful groups.

“The thousands of volunteers who give up spare time to help others in their community and to help solve problems demonstrate the best of democracy in action.”

In total there were 187 winners of the Queen’s Award Voluntary Service, which is considered as the MBE for volunteer groups, from across the UK.

Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson, said: “I would like to congratulate all groups who received this year’s Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, in recognition of their fantastic achievements.

“The hard work and commitment that goes into the work of these organisations is surpassed only by the passion and motivation of the individuals who volunteer.

“I hope these groups continue to inspire others to get involved and make a positive impact so that we can continue to build a bigger, stronger society.”

Any group of two or more people that has actively participated in voluntary work for more than three years can be nominated for the award.

Full details on how to nominate are available by clicking here, however nominations for the 2016 awards close on September 18 2015.

Further information on the winners can be found at the London Gazette by clicking here.