FAN at the Royal Garden Party | The FAN Charity Skip to main content
(press enter)

The FAN Charity

FAN at the Royal Garden Party

280736222 2243278575826325 8958955538522125231 n

  19 May 2022

Buckingham Palace, 18 May 2022 

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) celebrates the outstanding work of local volunteer groups across the UK. In 2021 the volunteers of FAN, including our Trustees, Facilitators and others, won the QAVS for their activities, with a special recognition for our work during lockdown in 2020-21. Formally, the Award was presented to us by the Queen’s Representative in South Glamorgan, Lord Lieutenant Morfydd Meredith, in Cardiff on the 21 September 2021.

In addition, we were invited to send two FAN Volunteers to attend a Royal Garden Party during May 2022 at Buckingham Palace in London. In summer, The Queen, or other Royals on her behalf, traditionally hosts three Garden Parties at Buckingham Palace, and one at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Scotland. Such Garden Parties are held as a way of recognising and rewarding public service. Throughout the UK, various establishment networks, who include Lord-Lieutenants, Societies and Associations, Government Departments, Local Government, the Services, the Church and other Faiths, are asked to invite guests. 8,000 guests attend each event.

We chose to attend the Garden Party taking place on the 18 May 2022. After consultation within FAN we nominated Roswitha Michaela Davies-Schoneck, the long-time Facilitator of a women only FAN Group at the Salvation Army in Grangetown, Cardiff, and Ian Thomson, the current Chair of the FAN Charity and Facilitator of a number of Classic and Virtual FAN Groups to be the FAN representatives.

The day was a fascinating and interesting occasion. First of all, we were extremely fortunate in that the weather was perfect for an outdoors event – sunny and warm. On the previous week the first Garden Party of the 2022 season had suffered from heavy rain throughout. Everything about getting to London by rail from Cardiff (and back) went smoothly and we were able to take a leisurely walk from Paddington Station through Hyde Park to get to the grounds of Buckingham Palace.

8,000 people is a lot and we feared queues and a feeling of being overcrowded in the usually private grounds. However, the fear was unfounded. At over 40 acres the grounds are extensive, very beautiful and rather peaceful, with a huge variety of trees, shrubs and flowers, alongside manicured lawns and a lake. Security was present but unobtrusive and an experienced and friendly team of staff kept everything going smoothly, including efficient access to the most luxurious temporary lavatories that I have ever experienced. A smooth operation also extended to a delicious and extensive afternoon tea offered.

Did we get to speak to the Royals attending? We did not and, to be honest, we hardly got to see them. We just about caught a glimpse of The Earl and Countess of Wessex (Prince Edward and his wife Sophie), the Duchess of Cambridge (Kate) and Princess Alexandra as they came out of the Palace to begin their steady walk through pre-arranged lines of selected guests to meet special guests in the Royal and Diplomatic Tents (some of the external links below show you photos of the Royals). Two military bands alternated playing throughout the afternoon, and we all people-watched in wonder at the variety of smart, fashionable, traditional, national, and stand outish range of clothes being worn by those attending. It was definitely an occasion for the Establishment to come out to play – and fascinating and enjoyable to participate in.

Despite the glamour and novelty of the occasion it was sobering to realise that along ourselves as representatives of our small FAN Charity there were many other representatives at the event of a multitude of other charities who throughout the year carry out important and necessary work for their communities on a voluntary basis – and who so deservedly receive recognition by receiving the Queen’s Award and an invitation to such events.

External information

  Back to News

Your privacy

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience, please accept these so we can deliver a more reliable service.

To find out more, read our privacy policy and cookie policy.

Manage preferences