POP and TV star Peter Andre presented a children's outdoor activity centre with an award.
The singer of the hit Mysterious Girl handed the British Airways’ (BA) Charity of the Year 2013 award to mother and son team Dawn and Mark Palmer.
Mark is responsible for the maintenance and grounds at Willow Tree, in Breakspear Road South nnd his mother co-ordinates volunteers from local businesses who help keep the place running.
“This was a marvellous achievement and an honour to all the individual volunteers who manage the centre,” said Mrs Palmer.
She said the recognition by BA was an honour for the small team of regular volunteers, who keep the centre available for around 14,000 young people who use it every year – from guides, scouts, church groups, cadets, schools and other youth organisations.
Willow Tree has facilities for those with physical disabilities, plus a residential training house and separate training and activity rooms all set in 15 acres of land.
And it is run entirely by volunteers: the centre has no paid staff so relies on businesses offering their staff for a day at a time.
“This year we have had tremendous support from Heathrow Airport, GlaxoSmithKline, Coca Cola, Canon Europe, Price Waterhouse Cooper, Tata Enterprises and, recently, Mondelez,” said Mrs Palmer.
“On each occasion it has been a successful day and it is hoped they will all come again in 2014.
“Without them, Willow Tree would not be in the position to have this excellent centre.”
Volunteers complete tasks such as painting, pruning, repairs, ground work and general maintenance, and BA has sent many groups of apprentices there during 2013, where they have benefitted from team building and learning social and environment skills.
“This partnership has been very successful to both BA and Willow Tree Centre,” said Mrs Palmer.
“This year in particular there has been so much work to be carried out, and BA and other teams from local businesses have helped to maintain the centre to an excellent standard.”
Willow Tree is owned and managed by Girlguiding Middlesex North West and managed by a committee. It was opened by Princess Margaret in 2000.