Stockport County: Queen’s Award honour for Help the Hatters

Volunteers from Help the Hatters clean up at Edgeley Park
Volunteers from Help the Hatters clean up at Edgeley Park

Help the Hatters, a group of volunteers based in Stockport, have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

The hard-working group operate from Edgeley Park, the home of Stockport County, and over the last two decades have dedicated themselves to getting things done in their community.

Help the Hatters was formed to provide practical support to Stockport County by creating and maintaining facilities and services that help sustain the club, and the volunteers can often be found painting, cleaning and helping to maintain the stadium, but they have since branched out into wider community initiatives.

County’s chief executive, Johnny Vaughan, said: “Ever since I came to County in January, I have been staggered by the amount of work this relatively small group of volunteers achieves on a weekly basis.

“This accolade is deserved recognition for everything they do and we are delighted that they are being honoured for their incredible efforts.”

Help the Hatters is one of 230 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups who benefit their local communities, and recipients are announced each year in June on the anniversary of the Queen’s coronation.

Representatives of Help the Hatters will receive the award from the Lord Lieutenant of Manchester later this summer, and two volunteers from the group will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2021, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.

John Fitzpatrick, chair of Help the Hatters, said: “We are delighted that the work of Help the Hatters has been recognised at the highest level in the UK in this way.

“It is a welcome and fitting reward for all the dedication and hard work of the group’s volunteers.”