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Hyndburn Green Spaces Forum was established in 2005 by four Community, not for profit groups, coming together who believed that free access to good quality open space and leisure facilities could contribute to the social health and wellbeing of local residents. Over a decade later we are almost thirty groups with the same aim of improving and increasing free publically accessible open spaces for everyone in Hyndburn to enjoy.

 

Hyndburn Green Spaces Forum receives the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

Hyndburn Green Spaces Forum a group of volunteers based in Hyndburn – Accrington -  have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

HGSF is an umbrella organsiation made of up various voluntary led individual groups which work to promote and preserve the Boroughs parks and open spaces.  They provide a network of support, knowledge, skills, abilities and on occasion, even act as a liaison between groups which aren’t necessarily involved with parks and open spaces but who may wish to carry out a project on Hyndburn Borough Council owned land.

It was established in 2005 by 5 community groups with a drive to improve and promote the Parks, Open Spaces and Leisure facilities available to the Borough’s 81,000 residents.  To date the organisation has brought in £8million worth of funding.

Forum and Group projects are too numerous to list but have ranged from bulb planting, allotments, food growing, brightening up railway stations, woodland maintenance, new public playgrounds, community gardens, guerrilla poppying, RHS Tatton Flower Show, BBC Gardeners World Live, cleaning war  and service personnel graves across the Borough, involvement with the design of Accrington’s Town Square and its bespoke bench designs, the Armistice 2018 commemorations and more recently, a £2million restoration project in Rhyddings Park, Oswaldtwistle, Accrington.

HGSF is one of 281 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations and awards has increased year on year since the awards were introduced in 2002, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.  Winners are announced each year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse.  They include volunteers helping people overcome mental health problems through sport, volunteers using caravans as mobile cafe/information centres in geographically remote locations and another group mentoring children who have a parent in prison.

Representatives of HGSF will receive the award from Lord Shuttleworth, Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire later this summer.

Cath Holmes, Chair of HGSF said

“We were bowled over and humbled to even be nominated for this award, so to have achieved this accolade is such an honour.  Every volunteer involved should be so so proud and we thank all of them for their dedication, determination and the work they do freely to benefit the community and Borough of Hyndburn.  Thanks must be given to Hyndburn Borough Council, especially the Parks Department, without whom our achievements would not be possible – from the staff out in all weathers tending our parks, to the office based team searching for funding, designing projects and managing their implementation.  It’s a true team effort. We must also thank Murray Dawson of Scott Dawson Advertising for nominating the group and to Tony Grimshaw OBE, of Wham World; who came to assess the Forum.  And lastly but importantly, massive thanks to all our families and friends who support us in many ways.”

 

 

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