Westmorland County Agricultural Society receives The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service
Westmorland County Agricultural Society has been honoured with the highly esteemed Queens
Award for Voluntary Service 2021, considered the MBE and the highest accolade a voluntary
group can receive in the UK.
Lisa Bennett, Chairman, said “The Westmorland County Agricultural Society is absolutely
delighted that the passion, enthusiasm, commitment and sheer hard work of all our volunteers
has been recognised in this way. The award is a wonderful recognition of the dedication of all
those who are, and have been, involved with the Society, many of whom have served the Show
and our wider activities for countless years.”
One of the oldest agricultural societies nationally, founded in 1799, Westmorland relies heavily
on literally hundreds of people annually to deliver its wide range of activities including the
County Show, farm competitions, educational projects and environmental work. The award has
been made to the Society for Providing agricultural events and educational programmes
promoting food, farming and the environment.
Christine Knipe, Chief Executive, said “Volunteers are the backbone and heart of Westmorland
Agricultural Society. In 2019 alone 386 individuals amassed an incredible 13,000 hours
involved in our activities, events and initiatives. Without the army of volunteers, the County
Show, and all our other events would simply not be possible. Everyone is really proud to receive
such a prestigious award.”
Following selection by the National Assessment Committee, chaired by Sir Martyn Lewis CBE,
Westmorland Agricultural Society is one of 241 charities, social enterprises and voluntary
groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations remains high year
on year, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life
better for those around them.
Special recognition has also been extended to Westmorland County Agricultural Society for
providing impactful support to the community in response to the Covid-19 pandemic which
included volunteers involvement with socially distanced events, activities, training and
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 representing volunteer
groups from across the UK.
Representatives of the Society will receive the award crystal and certificate from Mrs Claire
Hensman, Lord-Lieutenant of Cumbria later in the summer and two volunteers from the
agricultural society will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace next year along with other
recipients of this year’s Award.