Queens Award News release

The Queen honours outstanding volunteer group in Herefordshire with prestigious Award


Yarpole Community Shop Association Ltd from Yarpole, Herefordshire has been announced as one of 130 winners of The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the MBE for groups of volunteers who work in their local community for the benefit of others.


This prestigious UK National Honour recognises outstanding voluntary contributions and sets the national benchmark for excellence in volunteering, with the work of those awarded being judged to be of the highest standard.


Yarpole Village Shop & Post Office (The Shop in the Church) has received the Award for bringing the community together after the closure of the last remaining village shop in 2004. We now have over 30 volunteers who help serve behind the counter in the shop, with further volunteers who help behind the scenes. There are 7 Board members who are all volunteers who oversee the running of the shop. We employ a part-time shop manager who is the Postmaster and a part-time stock manager. A café has recently opened, operating from the church gallery and is open Monday to Saturday mornings.


Those receiving this year’s Award were selected from 413 groups nominated by members of the public who have been helped personally or witnessed the benefits of a group’s work in their community.


Yarpole Village Shop & Post Office (The Shop in the Church) will receive a certificate signed by The Queen and an exclusive commemorative crystal, presented by Her Majesty's representative in Herefordshire, the Countess Darnley at a special ceremony.


The group has also received an invitation for representatives to attend a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in the summer.


Speaking of their success, Dr Julian Stokes the chairman of Yarpole Village Shop & Post Office (The Shop in the Church) said: “We are thrilled to have been chosen to receive this wonderful award; it recognises all the efforts that the community has put into the shop. It is much more than just the shop; as the community had to undertake a £250,000.00 project to re order St Leonard’s Church which gave the shop a permanent home. Prior to moving to the church the shop was housed in a portacabin for nearly four years”.


The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Award Committee Chair, former broadcast journalist Martyn Lewis CBE said,


“Volunteer groups make such an important contribution to their communities, often without praise for the incredible job they do.  In these difficult times their efforts are even more valuable.  It’s a pleasure to celebrate the achievements of Yarpole Village Shop & Post Office (The Shop in the Church) with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and give official recognition for the benefits they bring to others’ lives.”


More than 980 groups around the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man have now received this annual Award since it was created by Her Majesty to mark the occasion of her Golden Jubilee in 2002.


For details of all this year’s Award winners and information on how to nominate a group, visit www.direct.gov.uk/qavs, where a nomination form can be downloaded.