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Royal honour for Veterans’ Garden

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By Ben Murray
Dumfries and West
Royal honour for Veterans’ Garden
HIGHEST HONOURS . . . Members of Dumfries Veterans Garden with Armed forced Champion Archie Dryburgh

DUMFRIES’ Veterans Garden has been bestowed with a King’s Award for Voluntary Service.

Equivalent to an MBE, the award is the highest honour that can be given to a local voluntary group in the UK.

The garden sits on the Crichton Estate, and supports veterans and their families through teaching outdoor skills and offering friendship and mental health advice.

Dumfries and Galloway has the third highest number of former military personnel in Scotland and the garden is a one-stop-shop to access emotional and practical help, a place where like-minded people can talk, garden, and learn new skills.

Mark Harper, spokesman for Veterans Garden Dumfries, said: “We are honoured and thrilled to receive this award.

“It will raise our profile and allow us to support more ex-service personnel and their families throughout the region.”

Originally created in 2002 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee, the award has been shining a light on voluntary groups across the UK.

Previous winners in Dumfries and Galloway include The Food Train, DG Befriending Project, DG LGBTQ Plus, the Galloway Mountain Rescue Team, and DG Bloodbikes.

The award will be presented by the King’s representative in the area. Lord-Lieutenant for Dumfries, Fiona Armstrong, who said: “The Veterans Garden Dumfries offers a unique service and has won other awards for its work.

“To be royally recognised in this way is a real tribute to the efforts the group makes in helping those who have served our country.”

Archie Dryburgh MBE, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Armed Forces Champion, added: “The Veterans Garden Dumfries is always the first place I go for parades, welfare issues, educational visits from schools and community groups and Remembrance events.

“Its team of dedicated volunteers continue to support the region’s efforts to make this a good place to live for ex-forces personnel and their families.”

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