Shop Awarded Highest Honour

Feckenham Community Shop Association based in Feckenham Worcestershire is recognised with Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service for 2015

A voluntary group from Feckenham who work in the community to operate The Village Shop has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

The Shop, a Community Enterprise, is kept open 60 hours a week by a team of 80 plus volunteers from the village and surrounding area. In 2009 after 20 years without a shop a group of villagers with no previous retail experience, upgraded and opened a new one. They raised £40,000 in just 7 months and 300 villagers signed up as shareholders. The result has been a resounding success, not just because a shop has returned to the village after so long, but also because the project has brought the wider community together, from teenagers to pensioners, enabling friendship, co-operation and a sense of pride . This has rippled outwards and local schools and businesses are also benefiting from this shop’s support. Inspired by their achievement the community planned and built phase 2, which saw the addition of a café with free wi-fi. It has proved very successful and is popular with cyclists, walkers and villagers alike. 

Feckenham Shop is one of 187 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of awards handed out to groups have increased by over 60% from 2014, due to an increase in high quality applications, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to tackle community challenges.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work in their communities. The awards were created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and winners are announced each year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. Award winners this year range from Ablaze, a charity helping to raise academic achievement amongst disadvantaged young people in Bristol to a volunteer rescue boat service on Loch Lomond. 

Feckenham Village Shop Volunteers will receive the award from the Lord Lieutenant of Worcester on 1st July.

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.”

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.”

The Lord Lieutenant of Worcester Lt Col Patrick Holcroft LVO OBE wrote:

I was delighted to hear from the Cabinet Office that The Village Shop had been awarded a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. This is extremely well-deserved and I congratulate you warmly.

John Eaton the Chairman of Feckenham Village Shop Group is delighted they have been recognised in this way. “It is a fantastic accolade for the whole village where community spirit is so strong and many of the villagers are involved with this and other village projects”.