The Chesterfield Canal Trust has been selected as a recipient of The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2017, the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK. It was created by The Queen in 2002 to mark the occasion of her Golden Jubilee.
Trust Chair Robin Stonebridge said: “Receiving The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2017 represents a tremendous achievement for all of the Chesterfield Canal Trust volunteers who have dedicated countless hours to promoting the canal and campaigning for its full restoration. We hope that everyone involved feels immensely proud of the recognition that this Award represents.”
Sunday 4th June 2017 marked the 240th anniversary of the opening of the completed Chesterfield Canal. 2017 also marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Chesterfield Canal Society, which laid the foundations for the Trust.
The Trust is run entirely by volunteers. These include: the Work Party, which has restored four locks, built two new locks and restored over a mile of the canal; the crews of four trip boats, which carried nearly 10,000 passengers last year; and the teams which take out the publicity trailer, run the pop-up café and the shop at Hollingwood Hub.
In addition there are towpath rangers, maintenance volunteers, gardeners and archivists. A group built Dawn Rose, the first new Cuckoo boat for 80 years, using traditional methods only and another group is restoring the Trust’s ex-working boat, Python. Over 150 volunteers helped to run the most recent Festival.
Mr Stonebridge concluded, “We have just nine miles to complete, and once a decision has been made about the route of HS2, we want to press ahead and get the job done – something that will definitely support community wellbeing and economic growth in our region and the wider economy.”