Based at Old Warden Aerodrome is recognised with:

Queens Award for Voluntary Service for 2015.

The trustees of the Airfield Volunteer Fire Service (AVFS) are delighted to confirm that the AVFS has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) in the honours list announced on 2nd June 2015 which is the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. The QAVS is described by the Cabinet Office as “the MBE for volunteer groups” and is the highest award given to voluntary groups across the UK for outstanding work done in their local communities. It recognises volunteering work that is of social, economic or environmental service to the local community and is supported, recognised and respected by the people who benefit from it. The Airfield Volunteer Fire Service is one of 187 charities to receive the prestigious award this year.

The citation for the AVFS states the award is for ‘Providing and maintaining an emergency fire and rescue service for the benefit of the public of Bedfordshire and protecting the world’s aviation heritage.’

The presentation of the award will be made later in the summer (at a date to be arranged) by the HM Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis, on behalf of the Queen.

The HM Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis, said:
“I am delighted to present this Award on behalf of HRH The Queen to this unique and prestigious charity, They are a model of how dedicated volunteers can build a strong professional team over many years. The Shuttleworth Airfield Fire Service continues to flourish and makes an enduring mark on the history of our County. They are worthy winners of this significant award.”

The Airfield Volunteer Fire Service was formed in 1994 and today, now 21 years on, the AVFS is considered to be one of the best and highly respected Lower Category Rescue and Fire-Fighting Services in the UK, their work ‘protecting the world’s aviation heritage’ is widely recognised within aviation circles. The members offer dedication, commitment and hard work to ensure that the service maintains and develops this status. There is a very clear ambition within the charity’s membership to achieve the highest standards and to develop further to provide a volunteer fire service for the benefit of the public and in particular to the Shuttleworth Collection and the communities of Bedfordshire and the surrounding areas.

The AVFS prides itself on offering a high quality service tailored to our clients’ needs. These achievements would not be possible without the dedicated support and enthusiasm of the volunteers. Many of the events attended would not be possible without the high quality CAA Rescue and Firefighting Service the AVFS provides.

The AVFS is growing in membership and status and we are now looking to improve and expand our fire station to incorporate better accommodation and service areas for our vehicles and equipment along with improved training rooms, storage and welfare facilities. The Shuttleworth Collection have kindly agreed to provide us with a new home which we now need to fit out and equip so we can carry on with our work protecting the world’s aviation heritage and the people of Bedfordshire. We are appealing widely to individuals, companies, trusts and other bodies for help towards building our new fire station.

Detailed information about the AVFS, our fund raising appeal and recruitment may be found on our website, www.avfs.org.

This Award is very, very special as it acknowledges the contribution of ALL our members past and present over the last twenty one years. This is something we are all extremely proud of.

Colin Osborne, MBE
Chairman of the Trustees.