Airfield Volunteer Fire ServiceThe Airfield Volunteer Fire Service based at Old Warden Aerodrome has been recognised with the Queens Award for Voluntary Service in the honours list announced to mark the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

The QAVS is described by the Cabinet Office as “the MBE for volunteer groups” and is the highest award given to voluntary groups across the UK for outstanding work done in their local communities.

The presentation of the award will be made later in the summer (at a date to be arranged) by the HM Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire on behalf of the Queen, who announced the list yesterday [2 June]. The Airfield Volunteer Fire Service is one of 187 charities to receive the prestigious award this year.

HM Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis, said: "I am delighted to present this Award on behalf of HRH The Queen to this unique and prestigious charity, They are a model of how dedicated volunteers can build a strong professional team over many years. The Shuttleworth Airfield Fire Service continues to flourish and makes an enduring mark on the history of our County. They are worthy winners of this significant award."

The citation for the AVFS states the award is for ‘Providing and maintaining an emergency fire and rescue service for the benefit of the public of Bedfordshire and protecting the world’s aviation heritage.’

An AVFS spokesperson said: "This Award is very, very special as it acknowledges the contribution of all our members past and present over the last twenty one years. This is something we are all extremely proud of."

It was formed in 1994 and is considered to be one of the best and highly respected Lower Category Rescue and Fire-Fighting Services in the UK. Their work ‘protecting the world’s aviation heritage’ is widely recognised within aviation circles.

Detailed information about the AVFS, including its current fund raising appeal and recruitment drive can be found at