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Queen recognises work of Forres In Bloom

By Staff Reporter

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Forres In Bloom volunteers including Diane McGregor (holding cake) and Sandra Maclennan (holding letter) celebrating recognition from Her Majesty the Queen for their hard work.
Forres In Bloom volunteers including Diane McGregor (holding cake) and Sandra Maclennan (holding letter) celebrating recognition from Her Majesty the Queen for their hard work.

A GROUP of volunteers who are based at Grant Park have been recognised by the Queen for their outstanding service.

Forres In Bloom (FIB) have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest accolade a voluntary group can receive in the UK, and representatives Diane McGregor (chairwoman) and Sandra Maclennan (Secretary) have been invited to attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace to celebrate.

Sandra said: "FIB is quite overwhelmed to receive such a prestigious award from Her Majesty the Queen. It recognises the sustained efforts of the many volunteers of all ages over many years.

"Next year we will celebrate 30 years, which is a significant record. This could not have happened without the commitment and generosity of our amazing community. The award is for us all."

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest accolade given to volunteer groups across the UK to recognise exceptional service within their communities.

The recipients are announced every year on the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation, on June 2.

Lord Lieutenants represent the monarch in each of the UK’s ceremonial counties.

Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of Moray, Grenville Johnston, believes the area is blessed with many organisations who thrive on the hard work of volunteers.

He said: "This year, my final as Lord-Lieutenant, I am delighted that Forres in Bloom have won it. The organisation over nearly 30 years has been volunteer-led and has adapted to the changes we have all experienced in funding issues and support costs. They have never faltered and never given up, and it has always been a joy to see the beautiful flowers and the wonderful creations in Forres."

FIB's motto is We Love Where We Live. The group started in 1990 and over the years has won Gold Medals in Britain in Bloom, Champion of Champions and Beautiful Scotland.

Last September, FIB won gold in the medium town category and was also presented with the community involvement award at Beautiful Scotland.

In 2013, Moray Council reduced support to local groups but FIB has maintained its high standards by working with local partners and young people, the WeeFIBees.

The group’s core team of four meets six days a week to plan and action the care of flower beds, baskets and growing around the town.

FIB works with primary and secondary schools, environmental groups, community groups, college students, community payback, adults with additional support needs and individuals who are looking for company and support for wellbeing.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities and was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.

Minister for Civil Society and Sport Mims Davies said: "These prestigious awards recognise the wonderful work being done by many voluntary organisations across the country. I’d like to offer my sincere congratulations to all the worthy winners for their continued hard work and dedication.”

Lord-Lieutenant Grenville Johnston will receive a certificate and the award soon and is looking forward to a presentation ceremony later this summer.

He said: "Well done the hundreds of Forres volunteers who made this possible."

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