Winners of The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2018 Announced

 In news, updates

The annual award is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work done in their communities. It is considered the MBE for volunteer groups.

First announced in 2002 as part of the celebrations for The Queen’s Golden Jubilee, the award is given for outstanding achievement by groups of volunteers who regularly devote their time to helping others in the community, improving the quality of life and opportunity for others and providing an outstanding service.

This year’s winners were nominated by members of the public who have seen the difference the volunteers have made to the lives of others or witnessed the benefits of a groups work in their community.

Groups must be nominated, for example, by those who benefit from their work, members of the public, representatives of public bodies, or other voluntary groups. Nominations are assessed by a regional committee before being passed to a national committee for final selection and recommendation to The Queen.

Any group of two or more people doing volunteering work can be nominated for the award. The majority of the group must be volunteers, and more than half the volunteers must have the right to live in the UK.

To be nominated they should do work that:

  • Provides a social, economic or environmental service to the local community.
  • Is supported, recognised and respected by the local community and the people who benefit from it.
  • Is run locally.

The winners are announced each year on 2 June (the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation).

A few of this year’s 250 winners include:

  • Waterways Experiences in Hertfordshire, enabling the disabled and disadvantaged to navigate and explore the local canal.
  • Nottingham Women’s Centre, helping women achieve amazing things and campaigning for gender equality.
  • Railworld Wildlife Haven, Cambridgeshire, creating habitats for nature and model railways.
  • Justice Prince CIC, Tyne and Wear, supporting the active engagement of marginalised people to create positive change in their community and transform lives.
  • Cheshire Asbestos Victims Support Group, assisting sufferers and families that are affected by asbestos related diseases.
  • Community Care North Bucks, running a hospital car service and providing support groups for young, adult and ex carers.
  • Spelthorne Natural History Society, working on local urban areas of Shepperton to create Ash Link Local Nature Reserve.

Commenting on the awards, the chair of the awards service committee and former broadcast journalist, Sir Martyn Lewis, said:

“This year’s record number of Queen’s Award awardees are a powerful testimony to the remarkable achievements and innovative ideas which characterise volunteering in the UK. They prove that, more than ever, volunteers beavering away at grassroots level are the active lifeblood of our communities, identifying all kinds of problems and issues and tackling them with enthusiasm, talent and a high degree of success.

“The recipients of the Queen’s Award are at the very top of a formidable volunteering movement in the UK involving millions of our citizens, and going from strength to strength.”

Nominations for the Queens Award for Voluntary Service 2019 are currently being accepted with a deadline of 14 September 2018.

For information on how to nominate a group, visit The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service website

A full list of the winners can be found on the GOV.UK website

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