25th February 2021 | Lieutenancy News

HRH The Earl of Wessex congratulates Surrey groups nominated for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2021

Volunteers from the 10 impressive Surrey groups that have been nominated for the prestigious 2021 Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) received an exclusive video message from HRH The Earl of Wessex on 25th February. During a Virtual Reception hosted by HM Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey, Mr Michael More-Molyneux, Prince Edward congratulated the representative volunteers via Zoom, saying: “Regardless of whether you will be successful, I do hope you will take a great deal of pride in the fact that you have already been recognised for the valuable contribution you are making for the good of this county.  I just want to say a very sincere thank you. What you do is hugely appreciated…. Please keep up the fantastic work.”

The Award, which is the equivalent of an MBE, is the highest national honour given to UK volunteer groups. The groups nominated in 2021 are: Dorking Museum & Heritage Centre; Egham & Thorpe Royal Agricultural & Horticultural Centre; Emerge Advocacy; Godalming Museum; Home-Start East Surrey; MANNA Foodbank; Mid Surrey Community Fridges; SERV Surrey & South London; Surrey Minority Ethnic Forum (SMEF); and Woking Street Angels. The Lord-Lieutenant welcomed 30 representatives from these nominated groups to the Zoom Reception, highlighting the outstanding contribution made by the volunteers of all ages, ethnicity and diversity across local communities.

Details of which (if any) of these 10 Surrey groups receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2021 will be announced publicly on 2nd June 2021. The Award itself – a certificate signed by the Queen and a domed crystal – will be presented to each winning group by Surrey’s Lord-Lieutenant, on behalf of HM The Queen.

The nominated groups were all invited to give a short online presentation of their work by Surrey’s Vice Lord-Lieutenant, Sir Stephen Lamport, who chairs the Lord-Lieutenant’s QAVS Local Assessment Panel. What each shared was an inspirational insight into the selfless and dedicated work of these volunteers, for the benefit of so many in their communities. Sir Stephen also explained how the Local Panel is made-up of experienced assessors and an editor, who interviewed every nominated group remotely between October and December 2020 before sending their findings to the National Award Committee for further consideration.

The High Sheriff of Surrey, Shahid Azeem DL, together with Chairman of Surrey County Council, Councillor Tony Samuels were present at the virtual reception, along with Mayors and Chairs from Elmbridge, Farnham, Guildford, Mole Valley, Reigate & Banstead, Runnymede and Surrey Heath. The Police and Crime Commissioner, David Munro, also joined the Zoom event to witness the outstanding work of these volunteers.

Invitation to nominate dedicated volunteers for 2021

Surrey residents across the county are actively encouraged to nominate groups of deserving volunteers for the Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service 2022. Nominations open online in April 2021 and nominators have until September 2021 to submit. Full details of how to proceed and a nomination form are available online at: https://qavs.culture.gov.uk/ or by clicking here

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