The Official Accrington Stanley Supporters Trust (OASST) has received its King’s Award for Voluntary Service at a special presentation ceremony held at Preston’s County Hall.
His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Lancashire, Amanda Parker, presented the award to the OASST including chairman Peter Leatham, for providing and maintaining a positive relationship between Accrington Stanley Football Club and its supporters, whilst assisting the local community.
The award, which is the highest a local voluntary group can receive in the UK and is equivalent to an MBE, is one of 262 being presented to local groups in the UK, eight of which took place at County Hall on Monday 15th January.
Former chairman of the Lancashire Panel for The King’s Award for Voluntary Service, Terry Hephrun, officially opened the ceremony before the award presentation took place. Following the conclusion of the ceremony, chairman of Lancashire County Council, County Councillor Alan Cullens said a few words, before guests enjoyed light refreshments.
The OASST’s volunteers operate various projects including their town centre shop, Chaplaincy services through the dedicated club chaplain, their supporter funded memorial garden, food bank collections, coach travel to away matches, annual fundraising memorial walk, a monthly afternoon get together, and much more.
Trust chairman, Peter Leatham, said: “I was delighted to accept the King’s Award for Voluntary Service on behalf of our Supporters Society and our many members and volunteers.
“Receiving the award will hopefully inspire more of our fanbase to get involved with the work that the trust undertakes, which will help us to achieve so much more for the townsfolk of Accrington.
“We work closely with our club, our wonderful community trust and our many volunteers to help serve our community and its many challenges.
“We just simply try to help the best way we can and long may it continue.”
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 and recipients are announced annually on 14th November, The King’s Birthday.
Two volunteers from the Accrington Stanley Supporters Society will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May or June 2024, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.
You can see more about the OASST here: www.onstanleyon.com