Trust awarded 2016 Queens Award for Voluntary Service
On the afternoon of Wednesday 13 July the Canal Basin at Over was packed with over 90 flag-waving H&G Canal Trust volunteers lining the sides of the Basin and on the heritage boats kitted out in the H&G CT livery colours of yellow and black..
H&G CT friends and supporters looked on as the Lord-Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, Dame Janet Trotter DBE, arrived in a Lanchester vintage car accompanied by Air Vice Marshal Mike Smart DL, representing the Lord-Lieutenant of Herefordshire, Countess of Darnley. The Right Worshipful Mayor of Gloucester, Councillor Neil Hampson, and the Right Worshipful Sherriff and Deputy Mayor of Gloucester, Councillor Said Hansdot, were in attendance.
Dame Janet Trotter quoted the citation from the QAVS assessors before presenting the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services to H&G Canal Trust’s Chairman, Janet Moult, in the sunshine. An extract from the citation is as follows:
“The Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal Trust is an exceptionally well organised and managed group of dedicated volunteers which has been working ever since 1992 to restore this 34-mile Canal which joins Hereford with the navigable River Severn at Gloucester. The Trust and its remarkable volunteers in both counties are achieving substantial benefits for local communities. This is a vibrant and thriving example of the power of volunteering. we have no hesitation in recommending it for a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.”
After the presentation Dame Janet Trotter, Mike Smart and the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Gloucester took a little boat trip down a half mile stretch of the Canal, from Over Basin north-westwards to Vineyard Hill. Finally they enjoyed tea and homemade cakes with all the volunteers on the terrace at The Wharf House, the restaurant-with-rooms overlooking Over Lock and the River Severn, where eventually the restored Canal will join the River Severn.
Following the event, Dame Janet wrote to H&G CT:
“I can quite understand why the QAVS assessors heaped praise upon the volunteers who do so much and so faithfully to restore and preserve this waterway.”
H&G Canal Trust is one of 193 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups nationally to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of awards given to groups this year is slightly higher than last year, 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.
Green Apple Award
Green Apple Award 2016 – International Recognition
H&G Canal Trust has won an International Green Apple Award 2016 for the Built Environment and Architectural Heritage. The Award was given for Dymock Partnership Project.
The Project, a partnership between H&G Canal Trust and Dymock Parish Council, and supported by Two Rivers Housing Association, Designers Tony Gee and Partners and the landowner, Tomack Developments, was formulated carefully to meet requirements of all four parties.
The purpose was to create the Canal Basin in the centre of the village combined with much needed community benefits for Dymock village in the form of additional parking, a play area, a new footpath, a greatly improved public environment and, most importantly, twenty new houses, mostly already occupied, to accommodate the increased population essential to protect the village school, the community-owned pub and other village facilities.
We are most grateful for the support of our long term partner Keyway in constructing the basin, and after its completion H&G CT volunteers planted over 500 trees together with native wildflower mix and wild daffodil bulbs, rescued by H&G CT volunteers from the site before the development began. In the next few months H&G CT will be working with the Parish Council to install benches and complete the landscaping around the basin, and we shall also be installing both a 65m deep borehole to provide a long-term top-up water supply and an overflow channel for the basin.
As part of the deal, one of the houses was purchased at cost price by H&G CT for renting out, to provide an income stream for the maintenance of the Canal. This is in line with H&G CT’s plan to provide a financially sustainable independent Canal which does not require support from public bodies or other charities for its future operation and maintenance, but can be enjoyed by everyone. In addition the five Open Market houses pay an annual sum towards the upkeep of the Canal.
The site for the Canal Basin and new development was previously of no value to the community but has become a major asset. All parties have gained through the success of this collaborative project. The complex legal process required to bring this to fruition over nearly eight years required a huge commitment to best practice by senior personnel: in H&G CT the professional legal advisers were led by David Penny, a committed full-time volunteer. In Two Rivers Housing Association, senior staff were also committed to the success of the project, and Tomack Developments together with the builder, GP Thomas, overcame numerous obstacles to achieve success. The Chairman of Dymock Parish Council was supportive throughout, and his members were also determined to achieve the promised benefits for the whole Dymock community.
The Dymock Partnership Project was one of more than 100 nominations for the Green Apple Environment Awards for 2016, part of the international campaign to find the greenest companies, councils and communities.
This is the second time H&G CT has won a Green Apple Award – we were a Gold Award winner in 2014 in the Eco Tourism category for our work, in particular, at Over and The Wharf House.
The H&G Canal Trust is very proud that its very own restaurant, The Wharf House (now The Lock Keepers), was honoured with a Silver award by Green Toursim
The H&G Canal Trust is very proud that its very own restaurant, The Wharf House (now The Lock Keepers), was honoured with the AA’s esteemed Red Rosette for culinary excellence.
The Wharf House was at the time the only restaurant in Gloucester to receive this award. The award was made after the restaurant and rooms were recently assessed for quality and consistent standards of hospitality, service, food and comfort.
The Wharf House also received an impressive four stars for the newly opened bedrooms
CPRE Award for The Wharf House and Over Canal Basin – 2010
The Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) Gloucester recognises local projects that are outstanding in their contribution to the environment or to the local community. The CPRE have proudly presented the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal Trust with an award for the creation and restoration of The Wharf House and the Over Canal Basin.
They were greatly impressed by the thought and quality of design apparent in the project.
Some of volunteers who have played key roles in delivering and maintaining The Wharf House and Over Basin during the past ten years were given certificates at anaward ceremony at the Tythe Barn in Brockworth, near Gloucester.