Which voluntary groups deserve the Queen’s Award?

Published Thursday 18 June 2020 at 12:12

Here’s your chance to nominate voluntary groups in Blackburn with Darwen for the highest honour – the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS).

Deemed the MBE for groups, the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is announced every year in June. This prestigious accolade recognises the valuable service of voluntary organisations and is a quality mark they can proudly share.

Nominations for the 2021 awards have just opened, and can be made online. Nominations close on 25 September.

Terry Hephrun, Chair of the Lancashire Panel for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS), said:

In 2002, in celebration of Her Majesty’s Golden Jubilee, The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award for Voluntary Service by Groups in the Community was established. Its purpose is to recognise groups of individuals who are giving their time freely for the benefit of others.  It is the highest honour that can be bestowed upon groups of this kind and is equivalent in status to the MBE.

As such, The Queen’s Award not only serves to provide recognition of volunteer groups, but also demonstrates the high respect in which volunteering is held.  We all know the value of voluntary effort to support communities not least in the difficult circumstances we are facing in 2020.

Anyone can nominate a voluntary group or organisation for the Queen’s Award, but groups cannot nominate themselves. Groups must consist of two more people and must have been volunteering for the benefit of people in the UK or overseas for at least three years. Groups solely concerned with fundraising for charitable purposes are not eligible.

Councillor Mohammed Khan, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said:

Earlier this month the recipients of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service for 2020 were announced. Sadly this time none were in Blackburn with Darwen.

We know that we have a great deal of deserving voluntary groups across our borough who work hard all year round to support people in need, both locally and overseas.

Over the last few months, their work has been even more valuable to the Council and to the many vulnerable people who have relied on their support during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Nominating an organisation for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is easy and can be done online. If you know of a deserving group in Blackburn with Darwen, nominate them before the closing date of 25 September.

Further details on entrance criteria and the nomination process are available at www.qavs.culture.gov.uk.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is overseen by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).  As part of the Cabinet Office, DCMS works across government departments to provide support to voluntary and community organisations.

For further information, please contact Terry Hephrun DL, Chairman of the Lancashire Advisory Panel for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, on terry.hephrun@btopenworld.com.

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