THE King’s Award means the world to one community group hoping to put Barnsley on the map.
The Friends of Wilthorpe Park began in 2015 with the simple goal of restoring the park of Huddersfield Road.
As the years have progressed though, the group has taken their ambitions further, working with people across Yorkshire to continue developing the natural beauty of the area, earning them three Platinum Awards from Yorkshire in Bloom.
Now, the group is one of the 262 organisations receiving the King’s Award for Voluntary Service.
Chair Pat Braithwaite said: “It’s so exciting, we all work so hard.
“We were nominated through the community because of our employee supported volunteering days.
“It means that companies can send us volunteers for the day to help out – we try to provide really good lunches and have built a bit of a reputation for it.
“Last year we had people come from Hull just to help us out – they’d seen us online and just decided they wanted to help.”
The team consists of only eight regular members, who cover the eight acres of the park – ‘one per acre’ according to Pat.
As such, the support shown to them by the wider community and various companies has proved to be invaluable in allowing them to do bigger projects, including an educational tree trail or planting an eye-catching 12,000 bluebells.
Pat added: “We want anyone passing to think ‘wow look at that’.
“It’s about putting Barnsley on the map, we want to make this a lovely place to live.
“I’m so excited and I’m so happy for the all the members.”