Swansea Community Farm logoWhat a brilliant week for Swansea Community Farm, who celebrate multiple Awards this Volunteers’ Week, receiving both the Queens Award for Voluntary Service, and their Chairperson Nerys Edmonds awarded Wales Trustee of the Year!

Swansea Community Farm, like an outdoor community centre, offers unique opportunities for people to learn about the environment, healthy living and sustainability whilst taking an active role in their local community.

With 3.5 acres of accessible buildings and grounds, access to 2 acres of semi-natural woodlands and 11.5 hectares of urban heathland; the Farm offers a wide range of educational and practical activities that help to enhance local biodiversity and encourage nature conservation whilst creating opportunities for community integration, personal growth and wellbeing.

The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work done in their own communities. It is the equivalent of an MBE for community groups, and means that two Farm volunteers are now off to meet the Royal Family and represent Swansea in London.

It is really fun too, if we don’t have one good belly laugh a day whilst volunteering there’s something wrong

One of those volunteers, Marion, said of the award ‘It’s a huge honour we got the award as it means that people are more likely to support us and understand the amazing work that goes on here. Although it’s only the lucky two of us (me and Peter) that get to go to the Palace it reflects everybody’s hard work. When I joined the Farm I had recently retired and volunteering kept me busy and feeling like I was still part of society. We are a really mixed bunch, lots of people have disabilities or depression but working at the Farm makes everyone feel better. It is really fun too, if we don’t have one good belly laugh a day whilst volunteering there’s something wrong’

Speaking about the award, Swansea Community Farm’s Chairperson, Nerys Edmonds, added: “The Farm believes in the value of volunteering and being a trustee for individuals and the community. It is great that the Queen’s Award are recognising the great work that is going on here at the Farm and in Swansea. We would all like to say a big thank you to the award panels and to all our volunteers” she added.

And it’s another special congratulations to Nerys, who has won a Trustee of the Year Award from Wales Council for Voluntary Action.

Nerys has a day job at Public Health Wales and she first came to the farm as part of her job to look at how volunteering at the farm impacts on health and wellbeing. She found that there were many benefits for people’s wellbeing and was inspired enough to join the Board of Trustees in 2016.

The role of Trustees is vitally important in leading and supporting charities to do the good work they set out to do, and to navigate changing and challenging times.

She said “I was really delighted to be nominated for this award. I’ve never won an award before, so it’s an exciting day for me. I’m glad that I have been able to make a difference to the farm as it is a place that helps so many people. I passionately believe in volunteering. It can benefit people’s personal development and wellbeing, helps to build strong communities and brings people together. As the saying goes “doing good does you good”. The role of Trustees is vitally important in leading and supporting charities to do the good work they set out to do, and to navigate changing and challenging times. The third sector does such important work in our communities and needs strong Boards and Trustees to ensure the future of many fantastic community organisations”.

We’d like to wish a huge and well deserved congratulations to all involved with Swansea Community Farm!

To find out more about the award winning work of Swansea Community Farm, the only established community-led city farm in Wales, visit: www.swanseacommunityfarm.org.uk