Some wonderful news...

Some wonderful news...
We want to share some wonderful news…

Swaledale Festival has been awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – not only the highest award that can be given to a voluntary group but the equivalent of an MBE for volunteers!  This award recognises the outstanding contribution that our volunteers make to the Festival and to our local community.  We have long known that our volunteers are special, but to have the Royal endorsement is a wonderful celebration of all that they do.

Swaledale Festival is an annual two-week Festival of music, arts and walking that takes place across the glorious landscape of the three northern-most Yorkshire Dales: Swaledale, Wensleydale and Arkengarthdale.  Each year the Festival puts on 65+ high-quality concerts, plays, talks, films, workshops, poetry readings, dance performances and exhibitions in charming venues.  

The Festival has always been reliant on the work of volunteers, but as it has grown it has become even more so.  Our volunteers take on vital roles: event stewarding, hosting and transporting performers, box office, distributing brochures, helping with marketing activities and more.  

Swaledale Festival is a charity with only a handful of part-time staff and much of its work is done by a small army of around 160 volunteers.  We also have an active board of trustees who themselves are volunteers.  Artistic Director Malcolm Creese says: “Quite simply, the Festival could not happen without the amazing efforts of these hard-working and generous people.  This award is for all of them!”.

Maria Laybourn, Volunteers Coordinator (also a voluntary role!), says: “We’re so grateful to our volunteers for all their time and enthusiasm. The benefits of volunteering are two-way – volunteers enable the Festival to thrive, but the opportunity of volunteering brings social and cultural opportunities and enriches lives.  Ultimately our volunteers do it because they enjoy it – and that’s what matters”.
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