The Airfield Volunteer Fire Service (AVFS) has received royal recognition for its work in the local community.
The registered charity, which is based at Old Warden Aerodrome, home of the Shuttleworth Collection, was honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is described by the Cabinet Office as ‘the MBE for volunteer groups’ and is the highest award given to voluntary groups across the UK for outstanding work in their local communities.
Lord Lieutenant of Beds Helen Nellis made the presentation to Kevin Endersby, secretary of the AVFS and one of its founder members, and senior fire officer Kevin Pettitt.
Mrs Nellis said: “It was a genuine thrill to present the Queen’s Award on behalf of HM The Queen to a group of dedicated volunteers who have worked tirelessly over many years to create a professional fire and rescue team which enables the Shuttleworth Collection to fly.
“I am very impressed with the group’s attention to detail, their positive team spirit and the huge amount of care they take to ensure that spectators and participants in these historic airshows remain safe.”
Chairman of the trustees Colin Osborne thanked Mrs Nellis for the presentation and for her support as an AVFS patron. He also thanked the other patrons present, Sir Samuel Whitbread and Bishop of Bedford Richard Atkinson, for their support.
Mr Osborne said the AVFS was delighted to receive the award which reflects the dedication and hard work of its volunteers.
The Airfield Volunteer Fire Service was formed in 1994 and is one of the most highly respected lower category rescue and firefighting services in the UK. Its work protecting the world’s aviation heritage is widely recognised within aviation circles.
The AVFS is looking to improve and expand its fire station. The Shuttleworth Collection has kindly agreed to provide a new home, which now needs to be fitted out and equipped so the AVFS can carry on with its work.
The charity is now appealing for financial and other help towards building the new fire station.
The AVFS is always looking to recruit more volunteers, both as operational firefighters and fire support members.