We are delighted to have been awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. This is the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK and is equivalent to an MBE.
The Cory Band has been in existence since 1884 and from their base in Ton Pentre, South Wales their performances and educational work are enjoyed by people all over the World. This work continued even during Covid lockdown periods, when the band released numerous online performances and educational workshops for the benefit of many individuals and groups.
Neil Blockley, Band Manager and Trustee commented “We are so thrilled to be awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, and particularly in this Platinum Jubilee year. The amount of voluntary hours and commitment it takes from many people to operate a band like Cory is vast, and I am delighted that our members past and present can feel this recognition alongside the organisation.
For a two year period from March 2020 it was concerning for everyone on whether there would be any opportunities for us to perform live again with the challenges that we all faced. I have to single out one of our members who’s hard work and commitment during this period was incredible, and I know formed a major part of our initial nomination. Ali Woodman is a brilliant percussionist for the band, but during the 12 months from March 2020 he created 13 online performances generating over 3 million views during that period, facilitated 4 online educational workshops including an online weekend for Welsh youth brass players and delivered two Cory Online Brass Band Championships which saw global participation from 174 bands including youth bands. Not only did our own members benefit from keeping in contact and participating in this way but our audiences remained connected to us and we know our work supported so many of our followers globally.
We certainly are grateful and recognise Ali’s incredible contribution during this difficult period, but today we recognise and give thanks to all our members and their families, both on stage and off stage. We will certainly celebrate this award together and plans are already underway for this, along with the official opening of our new rehearsal facility which was another major project delivered during Covid, and our recent contest success which saw us retain the European Champions title.”
The Cory Band is one of 244 local charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. Their work, along with others from across the UK, reminds us of all the ways in which fantastic volunteers are contributing to their local communities and working to make life better for those around them. The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by local volunteer groups to benefit their communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate The Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Recipients are announced each year on 2nd June, the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation. Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse.
Representatives of The Cory Band will receive the award crystal and certificate from Peter Vaughan QPM CStJ, Lord-Lieutenant of Mid Glamorgan later this summer. In addition, two volunteers from The Cory Band will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2023.