Hike service

Antiguan Receives Commonwealth Award for Outstanding Voluntary Service

Refica Attwood is known for her environmental work in Antigua and Barbuda

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Wallings Nature Reserve Executive Director Refica Attwood has been recognized by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for her “outstanding voluntary service” in establishing Antigua and Barbuda’s first community-run national park.

Attwood was among dozens of people from all 54 Commonwealth countries who received the Commonwealth Points of Light award.

The Points of Light Awards recognize outstanding volunteers every day of the week – people whose service makes a difference in their communities and whose stories can inspire others to find creative and innovative solutions to social challenges in their own communities and across the world. -of the.

The recent Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting brought together leaders from all 54 member countries to reaffirm common values, address shared global challenges and agree on how to work to create a better future for all citizens, especially young people. Voluntary service is an essential part of this programme, which is why Her Majesty The Queen has chosen to recognize outstanding volunteers across the Commonwealth in this special way.

“I’m thrilled to have been recognized for my hard work and dedication to making an impactful difference to those around me. Nothing is impossible once you set your mind to it,” Attwood said.

Attwood, 33, hiked around Wallings as a teenager, and even at that young age she noticed locals throwing big events and destroying the area with trash. She began documenting the damage and presented a business plan to government officials, making recommendations on how to save the space.

In 2016, Attwood successfully negotiated a $50,000 grant to regenerate the area, and she has since spearheaded several reforestation projects, created safe trails for hiking, and built washroom facilities and outdoor event spaces. .

The British High Commissioner resident in Antigua and Barbuda, Lindsy Thompson, congratulated Attwood on “his well-deserved award”.

“I would like to congratulate Refica Attwood on his well-deserved award. His efforts to revitalize, protect and promote the environmental treasures around Wallings Nature Reserve are inspiring and have captured the hearts and imaginations of all who visit the area,” she said.

As part of the legacy of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London in 2018, Her Majesty The Queen, as Head of the Commonwealth, thanked inspiring volunteers from all 54 Commonwealth countries for the difference they are making in their communities and beyond, recognizing a volunteer, or pair of volunteers, from each Commonwealth country each week.

By sharing these stories of service, the Commonwealth Points of Light Awards celebrate acts of charity across the Commonwealth and help inspire others to make their own contribution to solving some of the great social challenges of our time.

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