A royal thank you from the Duke of York

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Wilberfoss in Bloom is celebrating after receiving a Duke of York Community Initiative award for the work they do in the community.

The Duke of York’s Community Initiative is presented annually to a small number of Yorkshire-based organisations that have been subjected to rigorous and robust scrutiny and are deemed ‘of real value to the community, well run and an inspiration to 

The community group has been named as one of just 40 recipients of the prestigious award.

Chairman of Wilberfoss in Bloom, Margaret Smith, said: “The award is for involving the community, taking pride in our place and brightening things up. Somebody suggested we should apply for it, so we filled in a form and then we were assessed to find out what we hoped to achieve, how we go about it, whether we have regular meetings etc.

“They wanted to check that we had proper accounts and a constitution and are a bona fide orgainsation. We do a lot of fundraising, so we are handling donations and they needed to be sure we are who we say we are.”

Wilberfoss in Bloom was founded in 2007 to improve the image of the village, by planting and maintaining previously shabby and neglected areas with colourful sustainable displays.

“We are currently planting up floral displays for the winter and trying to raise money for new planters,” Margaret added.

“We are having a Christmas Fair on 7 December, and we produce calendars every year with views of Wilberfoss, which we are selling, as well as Christmas cards.

“We are constantly looking for things to improve, such as the bus stops. People always say, when they see us at work, that it brings a smile to their faces. Everyone appreciates it, and it is good to give something back to the community.”

The initiative, which was founded by His Royal Highness The Duke of York in 1998, exists to both encourage and reward innovative and inspirational community projects in Yorkshire and the Humber.

Four representatives of Wilberfoss in Bloom travelled to Bridlington Spa’s Royal Hall on Thursday to attend a luncheon at which His Royal Highness personally presented recipients of the 2013 awards with their citations.

“He offered us his congratulations and, although he was late, he didn’t give the impression of being in a rush and he went down the line and spoke to everyone in the group,” Margaret said.