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The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work done in their own communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of the Queen's coronation. It is the MBE for volunteer groups.
Any group doing volunteer work that provides a social, economic or environmental service to the local community can be nominated for the award. Each group is assessed on the benefit it brings to the local community and its standing within that community. Take a look at the guidance notes for further conditions and information, or read about some of the previous winners.
Any group of 2 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:
Volunteer groups should have been running for 3 years or more to be nominated.
Winners get a certificate signed by the Queen and a domed glass crystal (as shown right). Representatives from the group may also be invited to attend a Royal garden party.
Local assessment panels look at all the nominations and decide which ones to send to the National Award Committee. In West Sussex this function is performed largely by the Lord-Lieutenant's Voluntary Sector Support Group.
The committee makes recommendations to the Cabinet Office, which sends a final list to the Queen for her approval.
Winners are announced on June 2 every year.
You can nominate a group for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service online (click here for the registration page).
You don’t have to be part of the group and you can make your nomination at any time. There are notes to help you. Full guidance notes can be accessed here.
When you nominate a group you also need letters from two people who support your nomination.
They can be:
Submit your nomination by 30 September to make sure your group is considered for an award the year after you nominate them.