The Erewash Canal Preservation and Development Association has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
The association is one of 281 UK charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the country’s highest award for this kind of work.
Representatives of the group attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May, and will be formally presented with the award by the Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire later this summer.
Chairman Norman Cornwell said: “The award is known as the MBE for volunteer groups and our award recognises all of our members’ efforts over 51 years.
“That includes initially in preventing the closure of the Erewash canal and the ongoing work to ensure the canal remains available for everybody to enjoy.”
Formed in January 1968 to save the Erewash canal from closure, the association spent two years restoring the original terminus of the Cromford and Nottingham canals which connected with the Erewash at Langley Mill.
The Great Northern Basin was officially reopened in May 1973. In December 2017 the Lock Cottages at Sandiacre were purchased by the association, which has looked after them for 50 years.
Partly thanks to the group’s efforts, ambitious plans are now in motion to restore a connection to the Cromford canal.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities.
It was created in 2002 for the Queen’s golden jubilee, and winners are announced each year on June 2 – the anniversary of her coronation.
Awards committee chairman Martyn Lewis said: “The record number of nominations this year proves that grassroots volunteering continues to thrive. It is a pleasure to congratulate 281 winners. They are powerful examples of real democracy in action.”
Nominations for the 2020 awards are open until September 13. For more details, go to www.gov.uk/queens-award-for-voluntary-service.