King’s Award for Blunsdon Voluntary shop and cafe

By Amanda Wilkins - 14 November 2023


The Blunsdon Community Shop and Café, run by a group of volunteers, has just been awarded The King’s Award for Voluntary Service. This is the highest award a local voluntary group can receive in the UK and is equivalent to an MBE.

The Blunsdon Community Shop and Café is an accessible, inclusive, village community shop and café serving, supporting and involving the local community. It is estimated that the organisation has had over 200 volunteers supporting their service to the community over the last 20 years. Currently, they have over 40 volunteers who man the shop on a rota basis and deliver the daily support service to the village.

The shop and café is one of 262 local charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. Their work, along with others from across the UK, reminds us of all the ways fantastic volunteers are contributing to their local communities and working to make life better for those around them.

The King’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by local volunteer groups to benefit their communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee and, following his accession, His Majesty The King emphasised his desire to continue the Award. Recipients are announced annually on 14th November, The King’s Birthday.

Representatives of the Blunsdon Community Shop and Café will receive the award crystal and certificate from Sarah Rose Troughton, Lord-Lieutenant of Wiltshire later this year. In addition, two volunteers from the Blunsdon Community Shop and Café will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May and June 2024, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.

Jan Milsom, Acting Chair said "The Blunsdon Shop Management Committee are extremely proud to have won this prestigious award. We have all worked extremely hard this past year to launch our new shop and café, something we couldn’t have achieved without the support of our volunteers. This award is very fitting and demonstrates what you can achieve when you have a joint vision, desire and a drive to succeed for the benefit your local community.”

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