The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the most prestigious award for volunteer groups across the UK to recognise their outstanding work in local communities. You can nominate any group of 2 or more people that has participated in voluntary work for more than 3 years.
These awards were created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Winners are announced each year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.
This year there were 111 winners representing a variety of inspiring organisations. Among them was the Severn Hospice: it provides specialist care to people in Shropshire and Mid Wales living with cancer and other incurable illnesses.
The Waterloo Action Centre (WAC) in London also received an award. The centre is a meeting place developed by local people. It runs a daily advice service in 5 languages, a weekly legal advice service and activities for older people. On Sundays the centre hosts services for 9 different churches.
Vice Chair of the Waterloo Action Centre, Jenny Stiles, said:
The best thing about winning was the boost to so many who contribute to WAC and who were delighted by this recognition individually and collectively. It brought great happiness to us.
Minister for Civil Society, Brooks Newmark MP, said:
Every day across the country fantastic voluntary groups work with their communities to make a real difference to people in their local area. If you know of a voluntary group that has gone above and beyond to help people, I would like to urge you to nominate them for a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Award Committee Chair, former broadcast journalist Martyn Lewis CBE added:
At grassroots level in communities across the land, there are millions of people identifying and tackling issues and problems that affect our society in all kinds of ways. They give selflessly of time and effort to make our country better for everyone. It is people like these who deserve to be recognised by the Queen’s Award.
Winners receive a certificate signed by the Queen and an exclusive commemorative crystal. These are presented by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenants at special ceremonies arranged by the Lieutenancy offices. Representatives of award recipients may also be invited to one of the Royal Garden Party events in the summer of 2015.
Now is the last chance to nominate your local voluntary groups for the 2015 awards; the closing date is 30 September 2015.