Newport and District Agricultural Society, a group of 250 volunteers based in Newport, have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
The society’s objectives are to promote agriculture, the environment and the rural community. It achieves this by organising the Newport Show held in July each year showcasing the best of British agriculture. It has held 110 annual shows, the first one being in 1890. Sadly, this year’s show has been cancelled due to the pandemic but will be returning in 2021.
The society also acts as custodian to Chetwynd Deer Park, a 200 acre conservation area just outside Newport. As well as being the venue for the annual show, the society also utilises the park to provide educational workshops and facilities for local schools throughout the year.
Newport and District Agricultural Society is one of 230 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations has increased year on year since the awards were introduced in 2002, 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.
Representatives of the society will receive the award from Mrs Anna Turner, Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire, in the autumn. Furthermore two volunteers from the society will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2021, along with other recipients of this year’s award.
The society’s chairman of trustees, Tony Asson, said “We are delighted that the society’s work has been recognised. We have over 250 volunteers who are totally dedicated to putting on a high quality annual show. In a year when it has been necessary to cancel the show, this will be a great boost to morale as we start to think about the 2021 show.”
Cllr Lyn Fowler, Newport’s deputy mayor, nominated the society for the award. She said “Newport Show has been part of the town’s life for many generations and it never ceases to amaze me how this dedicated team of volunteers are so enthusiastic about the society’s work. I offer them my sincere congratulations.”