Royal approval for volunteers’ work in Whitley Bay

Volunteers looking after an area of Whitley Bay have received Royal approval for their work.

Tuesday, 4th June 2019, 10:56 am
Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn CBE with members of the Friends of Red House Ramble group, including chair, Cheryl Savage, third from left.

Friends of Red House Ramble have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive.

The group was founded four years ago to manage a corridor of land in Whitley Bay in partnership with North Tyneside Council.

Members have transformed an impenetrable tangle of trees and brambles into a woodland walk opening onto grassed areas.

A log and chipping path now runs the length of the Red House Ramble giving access in all weathers, created by moving over 80 tons of chippings by wheelbarrow.

Chair Cheryl Savage, accompanied by her husband, attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace along with other recipients of this year’s award.

She said: “The Friends of Red House Ramble have endeavoured to create a space which can be enjoyed by the local and wider community while promoting biodiversity, getting to know our neighbours, and making new friends. We are delighted that our work has been recognised with this prestigious national award.”

Local school children and youth services have helped to plant hundreds of bulbs and native wild flowers which encourage pollinating bees, moths, and butterflies. The habitat for small birds and mammals has also improved through the addition of bird boxes, bug hotels, and edible hedging.

The group have also been the recipients of the inaugural Love Your Street Award, 2017, the Mayor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Life of the Borough 2018, and have been adjudged Outstanding by the RHS.

Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn CBE, said: “This is a stunning achievement by the Friends and other members of the community and I’d like to thank and congratulate them all on a well-deserved award.

“Although the council has played a supporting role, this is all about what local people can achieve when they work together to improve their area and it would be wonderful if this was to inspire others across the borough.”

Friends of Red House Ramble is one of 281 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year.

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.

Representatives of the group will receive the award from Susan M Winfield, MBE, Lord Lieutenant of Northumberland later this summer.