Growing Together – Building Communities

Hands of Hope Charity Volunteers have been awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

3 June 2022
Hands of Hope has received The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service

Hands of Hope charity Volunteers have been awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. This is the highest award a local voluntary group can receive in the UK and is equivalent to an MBE.

Set up in 2016 by the current Trustees and still run by them, for the last couple of years, Hands of Hope have welcomed volunteers to support them in the preservation and conservation of Hope Farm Community Garden – a 22-acre site in Hawkhurst, located on the Kent and East Sussex Border which includes 2 large market gardens, a heritage orchard, a small gill wood and two large wildflower meadows.

Delivering horticulture, rural craft, and nature-based activities to mitigate food poverty as well as improving physical and mental health outcomes, we are one of 244 local charities, social enterprises, and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year.

Our work, along with others from across the UK, reminds us of all the ways in which fantastic volunteers are contributing to their local communities and working to make life better for those around them.

The Queen’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 The Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Recipients are announced each year on 2nd June, the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation.

Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse. They include volunteer groups from across the UK, including: a rural support group for farmers in Shropshire; a community magazine addressing isolation in the Western Isles; a running club engaging all ages in County Tyrone; a film academy and community hub based in South Wales, and a food bank in Greater London feeding vulnerable individuals and providing training opportunities.

Representatives of Hands of Hope will receive their award and certificate later this summer. In addition, two volunteers from the charity will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2023 along with other recipients of this year’s Award.

James Doran, founder of Hands of Hope, commented: ‘Anybody who visits Hope Farm Community Garden can feel it’s a special place, but it wouldn’t be anything without our volunteers. It’s an honour of the highest order to receive this award and pay tribute to all the hard work and commitment of everybody who has helped our journey so far.’


Hands of Hope (HOH) is a small, community-based charity set up in 2016. Currently developing Hope Farm Community Garden, a no-dig, organic walled market garden and 22 acres of AONB land in Hawkhurst, West Kent, we deliver horticulture and nature-based activities aimed at tackling food poverty, rural isolation & loneliness as well as improving physical and mental health. We connect communities to nature and each other – “Growing Together; Building Communities.”


For more information, please contact info@hohcharity.co.uk

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