The Chapter House Museum Trust, a group of volunteers based in Dunkeld, Perthshire have just been awarded The King’s Award for Voluntary Service. This is the highest award a local voluntary group can receive in the UK and is equivalent to an MBE.
Established in 1994 by a group of volunteer amateur historians, the Trust has developed beyond its core purpose as a museum and archive. The hard work and dedication of its volunteers creates a unique range of opportunities and experiences for people in this community and beyond. These include work experience for young people through the Kickstart and Young Person’s Guarantee Schemes, a Young Archaeologist Club, and a Mid-Week Memories Club for local residents to reminisce over a cuppa, to name but a few. They have also been able to offer a Museum and Galleries Practice Apprenticeship this year to a graduate who began as a volunteer.
Future plans include the extension and redevelopment of their premises to create a first-class museum which will be fully accessible. These extended and purpose built premises will enable them to increase even further the opportunities they currently offer to all age groups, and to provide the best experience for visitors exploring the history and heritage of Dunkeld and Birnam.
The ways volunteers contribute to their communities
The Chapter House Museum Trust is one of 262 local charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. Their work, along with others from across the UK, reminds us of all the ways fantastic volunteers are contributing to their local communities and working to make life better for those around them.
King’s Award for Voluntary Service
The King’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by local volunteer groups to benefit their communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee and, following his accession, His Majesty The King emphasised his desire to continue the Award.
Recipients are announced annually on 14th November, The King’s Birthday. Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse and include volunteer groups from across the UK, such as a social support network for disabled adults in Banffshire; a charity using a refurbished pool as a community hub in south Wales; volunteer doctors providing pre-hospital care across rural Cumbria and a village renewal organisation promoting sustainability, equality and social inclusion in County Antrim.
Receiving the award
Representatives of The Chapter House Museum Trust will receive the award crystal and certificate from Stephen Leckie Esq., Lord-Lieutenant of Perthshire later this summer. In addition, two volunteers from the Chapter House Museum Trust will attend a garden party at Holyrood House in July 2024, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.
Manager Ruth Brown says: “I am delighted that our group’s work has been recognised in this way. I am very proud of our volunteers’ achievements as we simply could not exist without them. Our volunteers range in age from 17 to 96, and we are so fortunate to benefit from the diverse range of opinions and skills they bring to our workforce.”
Nominations for the 2025 awards will open on the 1st June 2024. Full details on how to nominate are available at https://kavs.dcms.gov.uk/