The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK for outstanding work done in their local communities for the benefit of others.
The annual Award – the equivalent of an MBE – was created by Her Majesty in 2002 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of her coronation. The Awards are announced on 2nd June each year. The Lord-Lieutenant or a Deputy Lieutenant visits the winning groups to present a certificate with citation signed by The Queen, together with an engraved commemorative crystal.
This prestigious UK national honour sets the national benchmark for excellence in volunteering. Each nomination is judged on the benefits it gives to the local community. There is not a set number of winners in a sector of volunteering work or region of the country.
You are actively encouraged to nominate any volunteer group in Surrey if you know about the work they do and believe it should be honoured in this way. To make sure a group is considered for an award the year after it is nominated, submit your nomination by 18 September. Any group of two or more people doing volunteering work (for three years or more) that is a social, economic or environmental service to the local community can be nominated for the award.
If the volunteer group you nominate is eligible for the Award, the nomination will be assessed initially at county level. The Lord- Lieutenant has set-up a county assessment panel in Surrey, and its assessors visit volunteer groups that have been nominated in the county. The local panel’s recommendations are then sent to the National Award Committee which, in turn, makes recommendations to the Cabinet Office. The Cabinet Office sends a recommended list of volunteer groups that should win the award to the Queen for her approval. Winning volunteer groups will be informed if they are going to win the award before the public announcement is made.
For full details and to download a nomination form, click here.
An informative leaflet ‘The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service’ published by the Surrey Lieutenancy sets out how to nominate a volunteer group in Surrey. To download your copy, click here.
Recent winners in Surrey
Riverside Arts centre, Sunbury-on-Thames
Walton Firs Foundation and Activity Centre, Cobham
Guildford Town Guides
Patchworking Garden Project
Surrey Hills Society
The Millennium Embroidery Group
Brockham Emergency Response Team (BERT)
Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (RASASC)
Samson Centre for Multiple Sclerosis
Spelthorne Natural History Society/Ash Link Nature Reserve
Surrey Wildlife Trust
Swingbridge Community Boats (part of Surrey Care Trust)
The Basingstoke Canal Society
The Swan Sanctuary
Forest Estate Community Hub Volunteers Group
Freewheelers Theatre and Media Limited
Royal Holloway, University of London Community Action
Surrey Playing Fields Association
The Normandy Therapy Garden
Bereavement Service of the Princess Alice Hospice
Frensham Pond Sailability
Surrey Search and Rescue
The Orpheus Centre
Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust
Guildford Street Angels
Hambledon Village Shop
Haslemere Educational Museum
Surrey Dolphins Swimobility
The Brigitte Trust
The Rural Life Centre/Old Kiln Museum Trust
The West Horsley Wheel of Care
Holy Cross Hospital
Sebastian’s Action Trust
Ashford & St Peter’s NHS Hospital Trust volunteers
Watts Gallery, Compton
The Lightbox, Woking
CHASE hospice care for children
Cast of the Wintershall Estate Play
Effingham and District County First Responders Scheme
Oxted and District Link Association
Painshill Park Trust
The Stewards of the Surrey County Agricultural Show
Surrey Drug and Alcohol Care
Age Concern, Runnymede and Spelthorne
Elmbridge Community Link
Fire and Emergency Support Services
Ready 4 Action
Woking Branch of the Alzheimer’s Society
Woodlarks Camp Site Trust