The Castlefield Forum, a voluntary group set up by residents to help improve the Castlefield area of Manchester city centre is the first city centre residents’ group in Manchester to receive a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. 

This award recognises best practice in volunteering work, is the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK and is the equivalent of getting an MBE.

Chair and founding member, Carol Middleton, and Carol Standfield, who has dedicated hundreds of hours of gardening time to help improve and maintain the green spaces, were invited to Buckingham Place to a royal garden party to celebrate their organisation’s achievement.

On August 28th members of the Castlefield Forum will collect an engraved, commemorative crystal trophy and a certificate signed by Her Majesty the Queenat a special ceremony at Gorton Monastery in Manchester.  They will be presented by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Warren Smith and the Vice Lord-Lieutenant, Paul Griffiths DL. 

Carol Middleton, Chair of the Castlefield Forum and a founding member said: “The Forum was born through a common love for our neighourhood and this underpins everything we do to this day. For a decade we have been the major voice for this area’s community and been the driving force behind a range of community activities from history information boards to securing ‘Outstanding’ North West in Bloom awards. We hold quarterly members meetings at Dukes 92 which anyone with an interest in the area is welcome to attend, and maintain an active social media presence to sustain engagement with the community between meetings. It is a huge honour to receive this award and recognition of the part all our members have played over the years in helping make Castlefield a wonderful place to live, work and play. We all feel very fortunate to live in this historic part of the city centre and hope to play a small part in ensuring it remains a very special place for generations to come.”

The Castlefield Forum was one of 35 Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service to be handed out to Greater Manchester voluntary groups, charities and social enterprises, in a record year.


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