BETA This is a new website - your feedback will help us to improve it.

Back to all news

KAVS celebrations in Derbyshire with Winster Village Shop Association

The Winster Village Shop Association (WVSA) was awarded the King’s Award for Voluntary Service for the services they provide to local residents and communities. We caught up with them to hear all about their presentation event, which took place in February. 

What do you do?

The Winster Village Shop has been community owned since 2005. Situated in the picturesque Peak District, the shop plays a key role serving the villages of Winster, Elton, Birchover, and Wensley Dale, by providing a local convenience store and help point for villagers and visitors. We are open 7 days a week, thanks to a team of 40 volunteers, including a Board of Directors, two managers and four part-time staff.

What role do volunteers play in the running of WVSA?

The volunteers of WVSA undertake a broad range of activities, from operating the till to making deliveries and creating stunning window displays. The Directors, who are all volunteers, ensure all financial and legal compliances are followed. The staff and volunteers act as a help point for people in need of assistance, for example delivering groceries to those with mobility problems. Volunteers also keep an eye open for the elderly who live on their own, providing advice and signposting to other support organisations.

Tell us about your Presentation Event?

On Thursday 15th of February, 46 shop volunteers and their guests attended a ceremony held in the Old Bowling Green, to celebrate being awarded the King’s Award for Voluntary Service. 

The presentation of the award was made by His Majesty’s Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Derbyshire Colonel John Wilson OBE to Alistair Wright, Chair of WVSA. We were also delighted that two Deputy Lieutenants of Derbyshire, Ms Kate Alcock and Mr Nick Hodgson, were able to attend.  

DL Nick Hodgson reads the certificate citation.

What happened on the day?

After a short welcoming speech by the Chair of WVSA, Col Wilson made the presentation of the certificate and the crystal award.  Rod Shiers and David Mitchell (two original Directors of WVSA) gave a short, interesting history of the shop’s origins, before being presented with commemorative boxed KAVS badges. Volunteer Rachel Miller was similarly recognised for her hard work and commitment to the shop. The volunteers were informally presented with their badges by Col Wilson and the Deputy Lieutenants.

The celebrations were capped by toasts to the King and the Volunteers, followed by a light buffet, including a superb celebration cake made by the talented Janice and Carl Ashin. 

This was a special occasion celebrating the success of our volunteers, who now proudly wear their KAVS badges in recognition of their outstanding contributions to our community.

KAVS celebration cake made by villagers Janice and Carl Ashin. Janice works in the shop.

What does the award mean to WVSA?

Alistair Wright, Chair of the Winster Village Shop Association, comments:

“We are delighted that the impact of the work of the shop has been recognised through this prestigious award. It rightly appreciates the important role of the shop at the heart of the local community and the valued hard work and commitment of our volunteers and staff in making life better for others.”

“This was a very special occasion celebrating the success of our volunteers and we are now starting to look at celebrating the shop’s 20th Anniversary next year.”  

What are your proudest achievements as a group?

During COVID lockdowns the shop was the lifeline for many in Winster and surrounding villages, providing not only provision of groceries, but also physical (e.g. by providing deliveries), social and mental health support, particularly to more vulnerable members of the community. We continue this caring commitment to local communities today.

Alistair Wright, Chair of WVSA being presented with the KAVS Certificate and Crystal.

What are your plans for the future?

We are planning to update some of our interior fixtures and fittings to provide a better working environment for our staff and volunteers and facilitate a better shopping experience for our valued customers.

Thanks to the expertise and commitment of our directors and volunteer coordinator, we are providing better training and creating more opportunities for personal development for our volunteers. We will continue to work hard to provide great service to our community and visitors.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to embark on their own volunteering venture?

It is important to begin by identifying a need within the community and then have an ambitious vision. The next step is to set a clear aim and objectives, identifying what resources you will need. To achieve your goals, you will need to establish a diverse team and listen to their thoughts and ideas. Our next piece of advice is to communicate with your stakeholders. Remember: work hard, be resilient and always celebrate success.

Alistair Wright, Chair of Winster Village Shop Association, presents volunteers Sharon Talbot (foreground) and Marion Bowler (background) with their KAVS badges.

How can the public get involved with WVSA?

We are continually recruiting new volunteers, to learn more visit our website and Facebook page: