Chasewater Railway, in Burntwood recognised with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary

Friday June 3 2016

The volunteers of Chasewater Railway who work in the community operating a Heritage
Railway and Museum have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service,
the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
Chasewater Railway operates throughout the year on a two mile standard gauge line
through a former colliery site which is now Chasewater Country Park. Our volunteers both
past and present who’s dedicated hard work, determination and tenacity allows the railway
to tell the story of our local industrial past. We have coal mining, power generation, brewery
and steel industries represented in our unique collection of steam and diesel locomotives,
wagons and associated machinery. Heritage carriages have been restored in period fashion
which facilitate train rides for the general public, schools, educational visits, community
groups and railway enthusiasts alike to enjoy. We encompass an Arts Council England
accredited museum, heritage centre, stations, workshop, running shed, signal boxes, narrow
gauge miner’s style railway, model railways both small and large scale, gift & model shops
and a traditional style tea room.
As well as operating, maintaining and preserving the railway for today’s and future
generations to enjoy, our volunteers stage regular events to engage with the whole
community. These include gala’s, Santa specials, Halloween trains, annual charities day,
teddy bear days, brewery locomotive and coal train days. Our volunteer base which currently
numbers around 70 people who come from a diverse range of backgrounds and abilities with
ages ranging from 14 years to 80+ years old. Our volunteers have job roles that include,
footplate crew, train crew, engineering, permanent way, signalling and telecommunications,
guest services, administration, buildings and grounds, training, education and hospitality.
They all give their valuable time freely working in all weathers and conditions but their
reward is to see our visitor’s happy faces and enjoyment making all their endeavours a most
rewarding experience.
Our chairman Mr Mark Sealey and Mrs Donna Sealey, Trustee for Health & Safety who was
the chairman at the time of our nomination, represented Chasewater Railway’s volunteers
when they attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday 24th May.
Chasewater Railway is one of 193 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to
receive the prestigious award this year. The number of awards given to groups this year is
slightly higher than last year, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of
innovative ideas to tackle community challenges.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer
groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work in their communities. The awards were
created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and winners are announced each
year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.
Award winners this year range from a War Memorial Community Trust, providing social
facilities for the benefit of the community in Clwyd, Wales, to a club enhancing the
community by developing individuals through athletics, in Ayrshire and Arran, Scotland.
Chasewater Railway will receive the award from the Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire later
this summer.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Committee Chair, former broadcast
journalist Sir Martyn Lewis said:
“I warmly congratulate all of the inspirational voluntary groups who have been rewarded for
their community work with a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The judging panel for this
year’s awards were struck by the quality and breadth of all the successful groups.
The thousands of volunteers who give up spare time to help others in their community and to
help solve problems demonstrate the very best of democracy in action.”
Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson, said:
“I would like to congratulate all groups who received this year’s Queen’s Award for Voluntary
Service, in recognition of their fantastic achievements. The huge amount of work and
commitment these organisations put into their local communities is surpassed only by the
passion and motivation of the individuals who volunteer. I hope these groups continue to
inspire others to get involved and make a positive impact so that we can continue to build a
more compassionate society.”
Chairman of Chasewater Railway, Mark Sealey, said:
“I am extremely proud and overjoyed that Chasewater Railway has won this prestigious
award. This award acknowledges all the hard work undertaken by our volunteers past,
present and future.”
Notes to editors
1. Lord Lieutenants are the monarch’s representatives in their lieutenancy. There are 98
Lord Lieutenants who cover all areas of the UK.
2. This year there were 193 winners of The Queen’s Award Voluntary Service from across
the UK. More information on the winners can be found at the London Gazette
https://www.thegazette.co.uk/
3. Any group of two or more people that has participated in voluntary work for more than
three years can be nominated for the award. Full details on how to nominate are available at
http://qavs.direct.gov.uk/
4. Nominations for the 2017 awards close on 16 September 2016 and should be made
online via https://www.gov.uk/queens-award-for-voluntary-service/over