Melanie May | 2 June 2021 | News
The highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK, the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, will be awarded to 241 organisations across the UK today, during this year’s Volunteers Week.
Charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have received the award for delivering exceptional service within their communities over the past year and beyond, from reaching people suffering with dementia through music and song in Gloucestershire, to providing support and friendship to refugees and asylum seekers in Merseyside.
Many adapted their services to respond to the coronavirus outbreak as the voluntary sector continues to play a vital role in the national recovery, and a special designation has been given to 164 of the group for providing impactful support during the initial lockdown.
Minister for Civil Society and Youth, Baroness Barran, will be marking Volunteers’ Week with a series of visits to some of the exceptional organisations carrying out critical work. She commented:
“In these challenging times, charities, social enterprises and their volunteers have been the backbone of local communities.
“Recent research has shown that 99% of people who have volunteered report positive personal benefits, including a sense of purpose, achievement and feeling as though they are making a difference. I hope today’s award inspires people and I encourage everyone to consider how they could volunteer in some way.”
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Independent Committee Chair Sir Martyn Lewis, said:
“There is no finer example of democracy in action than people getting together at a local level to tackle a problem or issue at the heart of their community. This year’s magnificent award winning groups touch virtually every area of need across our society.
“They also highlight the growing and key role which volunteers are playing in times of rapid change and unprecedented challenges. Whether driven by a neighbourly passion to help others or to achieve that well recognised “high” of personal satisfaction, volunteering taps into a rich spirit of generosity, ingenuity and kindness. The Queen’s Award’s judges are proud to honour the achievements of those who help to make our country great.”
Any group of three or more people doing volunteering work for three years or more 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:
Nominations for the 2022 awards are open now, and close on 15 September 2021. More information on how to nominate is available here.
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About Melanie May
Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via www.thepurplepim.com.
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