Local charity Martineau Gardens, based in Edgbaston on the Calthorpe Estate, has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
Established in 1997 as a volunteer-led organisation, Martineau Gardens became a registered charity in 2001 with a volunteer board of trustees, it supports volunteers on a therapeutic horticulture programme to look after the 2.5 acre free-to-enter community garden. The team of volunteers welcome over 10,000 visitors each year and a further team helps out with open days and events.
Martineau Gardens has been described by visitors as ‘an oasis of calm in the bustling city’ and as ‘Birmingham’s hidden gem’ – all thanks to the dedication of the wonderful volunteers.
It is one of 230 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations remains high year on year, 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. Recipients are announced each year on 2nd June, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse. They include volunteer groups from across the UK, including a community shop in Cornwall, an environmental group in Swansea, a group working with refugees and vulnerable people in Stirling and a thriving community arts centre in County Down.
Representatives of Martineau Gardens will receive the award from John Crabtree, OBE, Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands later this summer. Furthermore two volunteers from Martineau Gardens will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2021, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.
Sue Roberts, Chair of Trustees said, “We are delighted and honoured to receive the Queens Award for Voluntary Service. Volunteers are the beating heart of Martineau Gardens. Whether supporting our work week in week out, or rising to the challenge when needed, each one makes a difference. The Award is testament to hundreds of volunteers past and present, who have given selflessly to care for our beautiful community space. We look forward to being able to have everyone back at the Gardens for a well-deserved celebration.”
Like all charities, Martineau Gardens has been affected by Covid-19 pandemic and has had to cancel events that ordinarily would have raised much needed funds to help them continue to support the fantastic community based services they provide. If circumstances allow, however large or small, they would love to receive support from you – if you feel you are able to help and make a donation, click here. Alternatively, to find out more about the Garden, click here.