Friends of Hebburn Cemetery honoured with Queen's Award - the highest voluntary honour in the UK for their hard work and dedication to the community

The Queen has honoured a community group with the highest voluntary award in the UK for members’ work looking after and maintaining their area’s cemetery.

By Sam Johnson
Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 2:48 pm
Friends of Hebburn Cemetery: Front from left John Stewart and Mark Young. Back from left Trish Conway, Carol White and Judith Pickering

Friends of Hebburn Cemetery has been awarded the prestigious Queens Award for Voluntary Services for their community efforts all around area.

The group launched in 2017 to help stop vandalism at the cemetery and have since played a key role in supporting the Hebburn community and looking after the area.

Since launching, the group has been able to install CCTV at the cemetery, maintain graves, go on and regular litter picks and recently paid tribute to the Sir Tom Moore and the victims of the coronavirus pandemic with a memorial.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Chairman of Friends of Hebburn Cemetery, John Stewart with the memorial paying tribute to the victims of the pandemic.

The Queen's Award for Voluntary Services is the highest award that can be given to a group of volunteers in the UK and will be awarded to the group later this summer by the Queen’s Lord Lieutenant.

John Stewart, Chairman of Friends of Hebburn Cemetery, said: “It’s hard to put into words what it means to be awarded this honour. After the hard work we’ve all put in over the last four years I think it’s very fitting. I think it’s also very good for the town and the support we’ve had off the community has been outstanding.

“It’s very important to have that sense of community in a place like Hebburn. The cemetery is a vital part of the area and it’s really important it’s kept clean and safe.”

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service was created in 2002 and celebrates the outstanding work of local volunteer groups across the UK who provide vital support to their local communities.

Friends of Hebburn Cemetery is made up of around 40 volunteers and the award comes as a big honour to members of the group.

John added: “We were delighted to learn that we had been nominated several times and would like to thank everyone who put us forward for this award. The biggest thank you of all has to go to all our volunteers and everyone who supports us in the work we do.”

Support your Gazette and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news, the latest football stories and new puzzles every day. With a digital subscription, you can see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe.