Friends of Flaybrick recognised with The King’s Award for Voluntary Service

22 November 2023
Photo of the volunteers at Flaybrick Memorial Gardens

Efforts by a Birkenhead-based voluntary group to preserve and improve the Flaybrick Memorial Gardens have been recognised with The King’s Award for Voluntary Service - the highest award a voluntary group can receive and equivalent to an MBE.

The Friends of Flaybrick are one of only two groups in Merseyside to be granted the special award on The King’s Birthday (Tuesday 14 November). A total of 262 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups across the UK received the prestigious award this year.

The Mayor of Wirral and Council Heritage Champion, Councillor Jerry Williams, said:

I have greatly admired the work of the Friends of Flaybrick since their inception in 1993. Their efforts to preserve and enhance Flaybrick Memorial Gardens have done so much to ensure that we can continue to enjoy and learn from it today.

Their pioneering approach has also encouraged lots of people to take an interest in their local cemetery and provided a template for the care of historic cemeteries elsewhere.

I am so pleased that they have been recognised with this magnificent award in their 30th anniversary year and offer my congratulations on behalf of the Council and everyone who cherishes this very special place.

Mayor of Wirral, Cllr Jerry Williams

Working closely with Wirral Council’s grounds maintenance team, the Friends of Flaybrick play a key role in the upkeep and maintenance of the 26-acre site.

Another key part of their work involves working with the community to ensure that the history and heritage of the memorial gardens are fully understood. Their efforts include a programme of guided walks, delivering presentations, assisting researchers, and helping with family genealogy enquiries.

The group has also worked with Historic England, the local community and Wirral Council to create a Conservation Management Plan, which aims to preserve Flaybrick for future generations.

The Chair of the Friends of Flaybrick, Rob Dolphin, said:

It is my great joy and honour to accept the award on behalf of our charity; it gives true recognition to all members and volunteers, both past and present.

I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the group, to say thank you to the people of Wirral and beyond who support us in all weathers and attend our guided walks, Services of Remembrance and open days in great numbers.

The Chair of the Friends of Flaybrick, Rob Dolphin

The King’s representative, the Lord-Lieutenant of Merseyside, will present the Friends of Flaybrick with their crystal award and a certificate in the New Year. Two volunteers will also be invited to represent the group at a Buckingham Palace garden party early next summer.

More information about Flaybrick Memorial Gardens, including details of how to join the friends group, is available on the Wirral Council website.

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