Steve Church, SWCPA volunteer, is one of 500 Coronation Champions!

Steve Church, has been recognised by Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort as part of the official Coronation celebrations in conjunction with Royal Voluntary Service.

Steve, who lives in West Cornwall, has volunteered at the South West Coast Path Association since 2008 and has been recognised for his contribution and crowned a Coronation Champion. This follows a call out to the nation to nominate their volunteer heroes. Almost 5000 entries were received, with nominations made for individuals aged 14 up to 103.

Steve impressed judges with his long commitment to the Association and his passion and tireless efforts to keep the South West Coast Path as a world class trail enjoyed by over 9 million people each year. Bob Mark, SWCPA Chair, said:

"‘Steve Church has volunteered with the SW Coast Path Association charity for many years. A former Trustee, Steve serves both at the grass roots as a Local Path Representative, and strategically as Chair of the Association Path Committee, using his expertise to help prioritise where limited charity funds are best spent across the 630 miles of the path.  His inclusive style, unassuming yet effective work ethic, and deep love of the Coast Path inspires all who come into contact with him.  Colleagues have especially valued the extra work that Steve has put in to ensure that maximum benefit has been derived over the past 4 years in developing the England Coast Path in the South West, in harmony with the existing SW Coast Path National Trail. In typical modest fashion, Steve wishes the award to reflect on the efforts of all the path volunteers.  A true champion. The Association are delighted that Steve’s untiring efforts have been recognise."

Commenting on becoming a Coronation Champion, Steve said: 

"It's always good to have your efforts appreciated, and I'm obviously happy to have received this award. However, what I think is even more pleasing is that the award recognises the value and importance of the South West Coast Path to the community, and especially it celebrates the work done by the Association to benefit this wider community in a whole range of ways."

Steve with fellow SWCPA Volunteer Path Reps, Lucy and Margaret.

With the support of Her Majesty The Queen Consort, a passionate advocate of volunteering and President of Royal Voluntary Service, the Coronation Champions Awards were launched to recognise exceptional volunteers from across the country at this momentous point in history. Across the UK, 500 Champions dazzled the judging panel with the impact of their work, their inspirational stories and unwavering commitment to volunteering.

All Coronation Champions, including Steve, have been invited to attend one of the official Coronation celebrations, such as the Windsor Castle Coronation Concert or a Coronation Garden Party. They will also receive a specially designed, official Coronation Champions pin and a certificate signed by Their Majesties.

The Coronation Champions Awards invited people across the UK to nominate their local volunteering heroes who are going the extra mile. Nominations were made across eight award categories; supporting older people; supporting young people and children; crisis and welfare; community; sports, culture, and heritage; health and care; sustainability and the environment; and animal welfare.

 Catherine Johnstone CBE, Chief Executive of Royal Voluntary Service said: “We were completely blown away by the response to the Community Champions Awards and the huge volume of amazing nominees put forward. Our judges had a tough job selecting just 500 Champions from an array of thousands of inspirational individuals, who all deserve to be recognised and commended. “

“Each of our Coronation Champions displayed a commitment and contribution that far exceeds any expectation and we’re overjoyed to honour and thank them during this exciting point in history.”

Steve Church
SWCPA Local Rep; Chair, SWCPA Path Committee; SWCPA Planning Advisor, Cornwall

Steve has volunteered at the SWCPA since he retired in 2008. Before this, he worked in a local authority in the environment and countryside planning department and is a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute. Steve was invited to join SWCPA as an advisor and became secretary in 2010 (upon the illness of the previous holder) and became a Trustee 2010-2016. He has stepped down from the Trustee role but continues to be a Local path Rep and Chairs the SWCPA Path Committee.

Steve was interviewed on the 630 Miles podcast in February 2023. Listen to the interview HERE.

Published on: May 3, 2023