The team behind Watchet Live Festival (who are taking a well-earned break this year) have received the 2017 Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

Watchet Live CIC now have the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK.

Only two organisations in Somerset have received the accolade this year, and Watchet Live were recognised for how their volunteers organise “numerous events year-on-year for the benefit of their community and to help boost tourism.

Data from last year alone suggests the eight regular annual activities organised by Watchet CIC (including Watchet Live Festival, the infamous Wheelbarrow Race and Summer Carnival) generate approximately £1m of income into the West Somerset town.

Directors Mark and Jackie Bale (as representatives of the seven Watchet CIC directors) yesterday (1 June) attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace hosted by the Queen and Prince Phillip.

Mark Bale says, “Many people are amazed to learn that Watchet LIVE CIC stage and manage all Watchet Live events on a volunteer basis, and this award is accepted on behalf of each and every person who has given their unpaid time for the benefit of our local community.

“The aim was always to make our hometown in the rural Westcounty a vibrant, exciting place to visit and live, and to bring a true festival experience to West Somerset. To receive this prestigious award is validation of all this hard work to date, and also provides inspiration to keep going in the future.”

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