Leeds Roundhay Park: Friends group celebrates King’s Award for Voluntary Service
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Friends of Roundhay Park has been awarded The King’s Award for Voluntary Service (KAVS), the highest honour handed to local volunteer groups across the UK.
The award seeks to recognise groups that are volunteer driven, making an outstanding impact in their local community, and when viewed across the UK, exceptional at a national level.
The award was originally established in 2002 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee, and previously known as The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
Following the accession of King Charles III, His Majesty expressed his wish to continue the Award, and this year marks the first King’s Award for Voluntary Service. The award is equivalent to an MBE and is awarded for life.
Secretary Carol Houghton said: “I'm delighted that FoRP's hard work and commitment has been recognised in the Kings Award for voluntary service. Our volunteers work hard to keep Roundhay Park looking it's best. FORP always has the interests of the local community at it's heart and this award provides us with the motivation to continue our work.”
Sara Dawson, vice-chair, added: “The award recognises the hard work of volunteers who tirelessly devote much of their time to looking after the park. This award recognises those truly making a difference in Leeds, whether it be volunteering in working parties, litter picking, raising money for playgrounds, running forest schools, supplying duck food, or managing our gardens – the passion for the park and protecting is inspiring.”
The Friends are one of 262 charities, youth groups and museums across the UK recognised for their outstanding work. Others include Roundhay Road-based Give A Gift, which operates a food hub that has distributed more than £500,000 worth of food and essentials since the pandemic, and offers short term financial assistance for those not eligible for public funds.
Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said: "Each year, millions of volunteers give up their time to provide care and support, and this award recognises those truly making a difference to the lives of others across the United Kingdom.
“It’s brilliant to see the King continue the legacy of Her Late Majesty and reward those who support their local communities with kindness and compassion. Congratulations to all those who have been awarded.”
Sir Martyn Lewis CBE, the KAVS chair, said: “I have no doubt that these awards will delight His Majesty The King, with his well-known commitment to volunteering, on his birthday. This year’s 262 King’s Awards for Voluntary Service honour truly impressive recipients across the length and breadth of the UK.
“The awardees work selflessly as groups of volunteers to address every conceivable kind of local issue across all our communities. We owe them huge congratulations, but also much more than that for the inestimable value they bring to our society.”