Saturday was a special day for Heckington Windmill Trust when it was formally presented with the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for Lincolnshire, Toby Dennis.
Around a hundred volunteers and guests gathered at the mill to see the presentation of the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work done in their own communities.
Created in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of The Queen’s coronation, it is the MBE equivalent for volunteer groups.
Heckington Windmill Trust recently completed the £1.6m regeneration of the unique eight-sail windmill, which was formally opened by HRH The Princess Royal in October last year.
Chairman of the windmill trust, Charles Pinchbeck, said: “We shouldn’t forget how remarkable the achievements of the trust are, entirely down to the efforts of volunteers. We are still the biggest Heritage Lottery Fund windmill project, thanks to the thousands of hours put in by the board. Just as impressively, we are coming to the end of our first full summer season of opening which has proved very successful. And we shouldn’t underestimate how much that involves – we have been open five days a week with up to 10 volunteers on site each day.”
He said: “It is good to be reminded of just what we have achieved as a team and how much it is valued both in the community and nationally.
He said the award was a wonderful acknowledgment of all that has been contributed by so many people.
The Trust received a signed certificate from Her Majesty The Queen and an English Crystal with the award insignia on it to display.
The honour has also been bestowed on Heckington and District Agricultural Society, the organisers of the annual Heckington show. Typically only around a hundred awards are made each year across the whole of the country.
Mr Dennis commented: “Not that it needed it, but the village of Heckington is now definitely on many peoples ‘recognition app’ as the place to visit. The success story of two local community led enterprises demonstrates the verve and vitality of the residents of Heckington and its hinterland.
“I cherish the opportunity to present their awards on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen.”