Published: 15:00, 12 June 2019
Deal With It - Transition Deal has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service - the equivalent to an MBE for a organisation.
The green community group organises the regular community beach cleans, seed swaps, green energy events, bee festivals, tree planting and litter picks plus lends a hand in maintaining the community gardens at Deal Railway Station, The Landmark Centre and Captain’s Garden at Deal Castle.
Established 12 years ago, the group is also the local partner for a number of national and regional charities such as Surfers Against Sewage, Marine Conservation Society, Kent Wildlife Trust’s Guardians of the Deep and English Heritage.
Its members have also demonstrated a passion for the environment by initiating a number of campaigns such as Plastic Free Deal and the Deal Hop Farm project to grow hops to make a local beer.
It is is one of 281 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year, which is the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
Representatives will receive the award from the Viscount De L'Isle, Lord Lieutenant of Kent later this summer.
Victoria Nicholls, Deal With It’s secretary and one of the founding members of the group said: "We are very fortunate to live in a town which is fuelled by the energy, commitment and creativity of so many voluntary organisations and people who want to make a difference to our community.
"We are delighted that our small contribution to local environment and community has been recognised by this award; we see it as a tribute to all those have played a role in our various projects, events and campaigns over the last twelve years and especially the hundreds of people who have volunteered their time.
"Last year our various projects and events produced some 5,368 volunteer hours with some 1,902 volunteers involved – it's great to think that all those local people can lay claim to small part of a shared MBE.
"Given the linked challenges of the mounting climate crisis, the tide of plastic in our seas and endangerment of so much of our animal and plant life, it’s so important that we take urgent action at every level, especially here in our local community.”
You can get involved with the group by joining in their next community beach clean on Sunday, June 23 at 9.30am meeting at Deal Pier.