It is announced today (Sunday 2nd
June) that The Kennet and Avon Canal Trust (KACT) has been awarded the
prestigious Queens’ Award for Voluntary Service, the highest recognition for
volunteer groups in the UK.
The Trust, which celebrated its 50th
anniversary last year, received the accolade for its leadership of the
restoration of the canal and its buildings over the past half century, and for
creating a landscape and amenity valued by the whole community.
Rob Dean, chair of the KACT
Trustees, says, “This is a great honour for us and an absolute tribute to the
tireless work of thousands of volunteers from Bath to Burghfield, Wilton to
Woolhampton, and others in between, who have given their time so generously over
the past 50 years to complete the restoration of the K&A. To receive this
award from Her Majesty after she re-opened the waterway 23 years ago is the
icing on the cake for us.
People have given from a few spare
hours to the best part of their lives to the K&A, everything from helping
out in our tea rooms, crewing our fantastic fleet of boats, hours of
form-filling for grants, to clearing canal beds and towpaths. I and the rest of
the Trustees will always be incredibly grateful to them, many of who are sadly
no longer with us, and also to our present generation of fantastic volunteers
who are helping to protect and enhance the waterway for future generations.
This award will propel our very necessary work into the future.”
The Trustees offer their congratulations
to all who have worked in or with the Trust, to make the Kennet & Avon the
wonderful asset for the nation that it is today.