LEIGH Cricket Club, based in Pennington, have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

Representatives from the club attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.

Leigh Cricket Club is one of 281 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year.

The number of nominations and awards has increased year on year since the awards were introduced in 2002, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities.

It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.

Winners are announced each year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse.

They include volunteers helping people overcome mental health problems through sport, volunteers using caravans as mobile cafe/information centres in geographically remote locations and another group mentoring children who have a parent in prison.

Representatives of Leigh Cricket Club will receive the award later this summer from Lord Shuttleworth, the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire who is the Queen’s representative.

Club president Dave Eckersley says: “We’re delighted to be recognised for what what we do here at Beech Walk and it’s thanks to the hard work and commitment of our volunteers who dedicate their free time to bring youngsters into the game and develop them.

“In addition to a thriving cricket section, we also offer superb tennis and bowling facilities so there’s plenty going on.

Anyone new wanting to come down, have a go and join in are very welcome; kids’ cricket is every Friday in summer from 6.15pm with all the facilities including for parents to enjoy whilst watching”.