Volunteers who give up their spare time to help out at a farm-based charity in Sheffield are to receive the royal seal of approval.
They are to be presented with the prestigious Queen’s Award, which recognises their commitment and achievements.
The accolade was due to be officially presented to Whirlow Hall Farm Trust volunteers at The Cutlers’ Hall, Sheffield this afternoon by David Moody, Lord-Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, the Queen’s representative in the county.
He will read a citation signed by the Queen at the celebration with volunteers and special guests, before presenting the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest accolade awarded to volunteer groups in the UK.
After growing volunteer numbers from a handful eight years ago, the farm now boasts 120 regular volunteers, aged 16 to over 70, who all help provide children and families with hands-on learning experiences on a real working farm.
Master Cutler Tony Pedder, chairman of the trustees, said: “I am delighted the volunteers of the farm trust have been recognised for their fantastic contribution of time, energy and enthusiasm.
“It is well deserved and a great honour for the trust to receive this prestigious award.
“Without our army of willing helpers, the charity would struggle.
“We are indebted to each and every one of them.
“They are the cornerstone of Whirlow Hall Farm.”
Whirlow volunteers contribute to a range of activities at the farm including leading educational farm tours, driving minibuses, managing the thriving horticulture projects, maintenance and DIY, animal care and agricultural support as well as general administrative and promotional duties.
As an educational charity, Whirlow Farm Trust provides a hands-on learning experience for more than 10,000 visitors a year – many of them children.
It needs to raise more than £300,000 every year to operate the farm and its activities.
n For volunteering opportunities available at the farm, which was founded in 1979, visit www.whirlowhallfarm.org or call 0114 2352678.