At last St Tudy Community Shop formally received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service which was announced in June 2020 but has been delayed due to the COVID restrictions.

This is the highest award a voluntary group can receive and aims to recognise a group’s outstanding work to benefit their local community. The award was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, is equivalent to an MBE and is announced each year on June 2, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. 

It is a tremendous accolade for this already award-winning community shop, particularly as it is the only shop in the whole of the UK group of 230 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups which received the prestigious award that year. 

What originally started as a shop for the community and supported by the community has now itself become the heart of the community, and is proud to be able to support other community projects. 

The shop committee is delighted that the hard work and enthusiasm of the volunteers has been recognized by this award.

Les Eastlake and Karen Roberts received the British Empire Medal (BEM) for their dedicated service to the community shop
Les Eastlake and Karen Roberts received the British Empire Medal (BEM) for their dedicated service to the community shop (The Post )

The award was presented by HM The Queen’s representative the Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall Colonel Edward Bolitho OBE on Friday, April 22, in St Tudy Village Hall. He was accompanied by the chairman of Cornwall Council, Cllr Pauline Giles BEM who read the citations.  

Also present was Scott Mann, MP for North Cornwall. After the presentation there were celebration drinks and a buffet for all the volunteers. 

Later in May two volunteers from the community shop will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace along with other recipients of the award throughout the UK.

Furthermore the Lord Lieutenant presented the British Empire Medal (BEM) to Karen Roberts (manager) and Les Eastlake (treasurer) who both received their awards in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2021 for their services to the community in St Tudy. 

This is primarily for their involvement and work with the community shop over the last ten years, from its inception to the great success and award winning status that it has achieved at the heart of the community.

Karen’s award is in recognition of her passion and actions to help disadvantaged individuals and households in the community. She actively works to identify the vulnerable members of the society and to produce solutions to help with their individual circumstances. Whether this is through encouraging them to join the volunteer team, or supporting them as customers, Karen has had notable achievements in bringing people back into society and adding value to their lives.

For Les, the award focuses on his fund raising and ongoing work for the original shop, its later extension and more recently obtaining additional funds to enable the shop to meet the extra needs of the community over the pandemic. In addition, his work with the Plunkett Foundation in supporting other community enterprises, and his long involvement with the Lions Club of Wadebridge are recognised.