Swaledale Festival collects Queen’s Award

Representatives of the Swaledale Festival have been presented with an award issued by Her Majesty the Queen.

The festival was presented with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

This prestigious award recognises both the work of volunteers for the organisation and the benefits that the festival brings to the wider community.

Members of the panel said they were hugely impressed by the number of volunteers who gave their time and effort to the Swaledale Festival and the range of tasks they carry out.

They also recognised the value that the festival adds to the local community in Swaledale, Wensleydale and Arkengarthdale by bringing world-class artists to a rural area, as well as providing performance and exhibition opportunities for emerging young performers and local artists.

The Wandering Minstrels programme – where the festival takes high quality music and arts into local schools and care homes – was also praised as a vital strand of its activities.

The festival’s 130+ volunteers distribute publicity material, offer transport, food and accommodation to artists, assist in the box office, produce concert programmes and also steward at events.

Volunteers coordinator Maria Laybourn said: “Swaledale Festival is very proud of the work its volunteers do to ensure the smooth running of what could be a very complex and expensive operation, but they do everything so efficiently and in such a friendly way that we get lots of positive comments from audience members about how good they are.

“We are very proud that their efforts have been recognised with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.”

Planning is well advanced for next year’s festival. Visit www.swalefest.org for details.