The Mills Archive Trust, a heritage charity based in Reading, has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK. The Trust was established by volunteers in 2002 to preserve and protect records of milling heritage, fostering the cultural and educational values of mills and the milling community.
The Trust’s volunteers have been essential to the success of the charity over the past 17 years. They have come from all walks of life and all ages from 18 to 80 plus. Their skills and knowledge have helped the Trust to expand and develop worldwide access to our resources and collections, and continue to help shape the Trust’s success.
The Mills Archive Trust is one of 281 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations and awards has increased year on year since the awards were introduced in 2002, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Winners are announced each year on 2 June, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.
Representatives from the Mills Archive attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May, along with other recipients of this year’s Award. The Trust will receive the award from Mr James Puxley, Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire, later this year. The Mills Archive Trust’s Chairman, Dr Ron Cookson MBE said:
I am delighted by the recognition the Mills Archive has received for its long-term commitment to supporting and training volunteers. Without their expertise, enthusiasm and commitment we would not have become the nation’s go-to place for the history of mills and milling. It is significant that four of our professional staff all started with us as volunteers themselves!