A GARDENING group in Accrington has been honoured by the Queen for its work in the community.

Sandy Lane Gardening Group was given The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the equivalent of an MBE, after being chosen from more than 300 groups.

The group was founded in 2010 and helps service users with mental health issues to develop a garden and grow their own fruits and vegetables.

Secretary Gerry said: “We are honoured and delighted to have received this award. The group members believe that just taking medication and watching daytime TV all day is not the route to recovery.

“We think it is much better to take your medication and then do something positive and useful, preferably to help others in the community.”

The prestigious honour recognises outstanding voluntary contributions and sets the national benchmark for excellence in volunteering, with the work of those awarded being judged to be of the highest standard.

Sandy Lane Gardening Group will now receive a certificate signed by the Queen and an exclusive commemorative crystal, presented by Her Majesty's representative in Lancashire, Lord Shuttleworth KCVO, at a special ceremony arranged by the Lieutenancy Office.

The group also received an invitation for representatives to attend a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.

Lord Shuttleworth said: “This year’s result makes a total of 36 awards in Lancashire since the award was inaugurated by HM The Queen in her Golden Jubilee Year in 2002. The awards are a reflection of the substantial amount of work undertaken by these voluntary groups.”