Press release

Queen’s Award puts Diamond Jubilee spotlight on national volunteering achievements

A special Diamond Jubilee award will recognise the work of voluntary organisations throughout the UK.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Nominations open today for a special award that will mark Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee by recognising the work of voluntary organisations throughout the United Kingdom.

The new Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award 2012 will honour the efforts of charities and voluntary organisations that undertake projects at a national level this year, including groups which are supporting the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award is an extension of the successful Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS), the highest recognition for volunteering, with an equivalent status to the UK MBE.

It has been established by the Cabinet Office with the approval of Buckingham Palace. It is the first time that groups which operate at a national level can be nominated, as the existing QAVS applies only to community volunteering at a local level.

Members of the public are invited to submit nominations electronically for both awards.

Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society, said:

I’m delighted to be able to announce the new Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award 2012. There could not be a more fitting occasion to celebrate the work of voluntary groups than the Diamond Jubilee. Hard work, dedication and duty are attributes that define Her Majesty’s reign: these are also the hallmarks of successful voluntary groups and charitable organisations.

Day in, day out voluntary and charitable work is making a meaningful and irreplaceable difference to the lives of individuals and communities throughout the country. It is right that volunteering is recognised through the Big Society Awards, the Queens Award for Voluntary Service and now through the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award 2012.

This is a significant year for QAVS, which will not only celebrate its tenth anniversary, but will also see the 1,000th recipient announced in the next few months.

Over the past decade, QAVS has honoured a diverse range of community voluntary organisations and activities, from boxing clubs and nature reserves to supporting chronic pain sufferers and training lifeguards.

One of last year’s winners will also have a very special role in the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in June, when volunteers from Rutland Sailability, which enables disabled people to enjoy the freedom and physical challenge of sailing, take part in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant. 

Martin Sutcliffe, Chairman of Rutland Sailability, said:

We are now well used to the achievements of our disabled members, so it was a particular honour to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, which recognised the considerable effort of all our volunteers.

Now we have the added privilege of being able to ‘fly the flag’ on behalf of schools and voluntary organisations from across the county of Rutland. These flags will adorn the specially designed rigging on our boat, which will be taking part in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the Thames on 3 June this year.

Notes to editors

1. The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award will recognise volunteering at national level; the Queen’s Award for Volunteering has previously only applied to groups at a local level. For instance, a local scouting troop would be eligible for QAVS, while the Scout Association would be eligible for the Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award.

2. Members of the public can nominate a voluntary group or organisation for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award 2012 from 27 February until midnight on 9 September by visiting Directgov.  

3. Scrutiny and judging will take place during October 2012, with winners announced in the autumn.

4. Successful recipients of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award 2012 will be able to use the new award logo, as above.

5. Nominations for 2013’s Queens Award for Voluntary Service have been open since 1 October 2011 and will close on 30 September 2012. They can be submitted on paper or online at Directgov.

6. Case studies of previous QAVS winners can be found here.

7. Details of the 1,000th recipient of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service will be released in due course.

Published 27 February 2012