Swinton and District Excelsior Band has been awarded The King’s Award for Voluntary Service (KAVS).

The band was one of six groups that have been recognised in this year’s KAVS, which is the highest award that can be given to local volunteer groups in the UK to recognise outstanding work in their communities.

The Swinton and District Excelsior Band is a local village band run by volunteers who’s main aim is to keep music live and available to all by providing Free tuition, instrument loan and membership

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.

Swinton and District Excelsior Band 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.

Recipients are announced annually on November 14, The King’s Birthday.

Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse and include volunteer groups from across the UK, such

Representatives of Swinton and District Excelsior Band received the award crystal and certificate from Johanna Ropner Lord-Lieutenant of North Yorkshire. In addition, two volunteers from Swinton and District Excelsior Band will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May and June 2024, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.

Mrs Ropner said: “We know what a vital role that community and voluntary organisations play not just here in North Yorkshire, but across the whole of the country, too.

“In North Yorkshire, there are some very specific needs and challenges that are faced with such a vast geographical area encompassing some extremely rural communities.

“But advice, support and services are proving invaluable to communities through not just the efforts of the six organisations that have been honoured, but so many other voluntary groups as well.

“I would, however, like to pay tribute to those organisations that have been recognised, and to thank them for all the hard work and dedication they have given to our local communities.”

Tracey Popham secretary of Swinton and District Excelsior Band, said: “We are delighted that our group’s hard work has been recognised, the band is run by a group of dedicated and committed volunteers and members all giving up their time to freely behind the scenes, practicing, rehearsing and performing.

"This prestigious award comes as we start actively raising funds for a new band room roof and starting to prepare and plan activities to celebrate our 90th anniversary year in 2026.We have been recognised for our amazing volunteers who have helped us create our vibrant band, bringing brass music and opportunities to all with free membership and lessons along with free concerts within the heart of the community.”

The other organisations in Mrs Ropner’s area which have been given the award are:

- The Genesis Project: A community support network which provides food, clothing, companionship and support across all ages.

- York Women's Counselling Service: The service provides professional counselling to women experiencing psychological distress regardless of their ability to pay.

- Coastwatch Redcar: A group helping to protect and preserve sealife and on the foreshore.

- Vision Support in the Harrogate district: A voluntary organisation providing emotional and practical support and activities for local people who have lost or are losing their sight.

- Gallows Close Centre: Volunteers who are building a safer community for young people and vulnerable families in Scarborough.