The community-owned Bridgend Farmhouse on the south side of Edinburgh has won the Queen’s Award for voluntary service. It is the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
The Bridgend volunteers have restored an old farmhouse and opened it as a community hub with a kitchen and café, an exhibition room, workshops for arts and crafts, bike repairs, woodwork and gardening. They are currently building an eco-bothy and a mindfulness garden.
“We are particularly delighted that the 80 volunteers involved in our emergency food programme at the height of Covid-19 pandemic last spring and summer have been honoured for all their hard work,” said the Iveta Frost, vice-chair of the trustees at Bridgend. “They provided cooked food for more than 300 families, a total of 75,000 meals.”
Bridgend Farmhouse is one of 241 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups across the UK to receive the prestigious award this year. Others include a children’s bereavement service in London, a dementia charity in North Yorkshire, a young people’s support group in Belfast, a mountain rescue team in Wales and a community radio station in Inverness.
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. Recipients are announced each year on 2 June, the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation.
Bridgend was nominated by an independent community development expert Colleen Moses and recommended for the award by the Lord Lieutenant of Edinburgh, the Rt Hon Lord Provost Frank Ross, who visited the farmhouse on the Old Dalkeith Road in December.
He will be returning over the summer to present the Queen’s certificate and the domed glass crystal award.
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