As part of the celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation earlier this year, the SVR’s volunteers were selected by The Queen to receive the esteemed award.
As an impressive reminder of the award, the Railway will be presented with a commemorative piece of crystal and a certificate signed by The Queen by the Lord Lieutenants for Worcestershire and Shropshire during a ceremony at Kidderminster Town station on Monday, 21st October.
Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Holcroft LVO OBE, Lord-Lieutenant for Worcestershire, and Mr Algernon Heber-Percy, Lord-Lieutenant for Shropshire will attend the ceremony alongside the SVR’s Chairman, Nick Paul, Mike Ball, Vice Chairman of SVR Holdings PLC, David Williams, Chairman of SVR Co. Ltd, Alan Longdon, Deputy Chairman of SVR Co. Ltd,, John Leftwich, Chair of Development Board (SVR Charitable Trust), Hugh McQuade, Chairman of SVR Charitable Trust and Alan Davis, Chairman of Severn Valley Railway Association (SVRA).
During the ceremony, there will be speeches from Nick Paul and both Lord-Lieutenants before the award and certificate is presented to Alan Longdon on behalf of all volunteers. Guests will then enjoy Afternoon Tea in the Valley Suite.
Nick Ralls, SVR’s general manager, said: “We are delighted that the efforts of our volunteers have been rewarded in such a special and prestigious way, and it will be wonderful to have a permanent reminder of their achievement on display at the Railway.
“We are thrilled to welcome the Lord Lieutenants for Worcestershire and Shropshire to the Railway and know this will be a very special for all of us here, especially our volunteers.
“The passion, commitment and enthusiasm of our volunteers is really what makes the Severn Valley Railway the huge success that it is today. We are a very largely volunteer-run organisation, and to put it bluntly, without the dedication of our volunteers, we could not continue to operate.”
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service rewards excellence and outstanding achievement by groups of volunteers who regularly devote their time to helping others in the community and providing an outstanding service.
One of the thousands of nominations received from across the UK, the SVR’s volunteers earned the Royal stamp of approval, steaming through regional and national committee assessments.
One of the UK’s most popular heritage railway attractions, drawing in over 200,000 visitors each year, the Severn Valley Railway relies on the dedication of more than 1,300 volunteers who carry out tasks year-round, from maintaining stations, rebuilding bridges and restoring locomotives and period carriages to operating the route and organising events.
In celebration of the achievement, four long-standing volunteers from the Severn Valley Railway - Hugh McQuade, Columb Howell, Gary Williams and Martin White were invited to sample some Royal hospitality at The Queen’s Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.
Information on the SVR’s volunteer scheme can be found on www.svr.co.uk or by calling 01299 403816. For information on the SVR Charitable Trust, visit www.svrtrust.org.uk.
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