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The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service

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.

Who is eligible

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:

  • provides a service and meets a need for people living in the local community;
  • is supported, recognised and respected by the local community and the people who benefit from it; and
  • is run locally.

Volunteer groups should have been running for 3 years or more to be nominated.

What the winners get

The certificate signed by the Queen and the domed glass crystalWinners 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.

How the winners are decided

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.

How to make a nomination

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.

Support for your nomination

When you nominate a group you also need letters from two people who support your nomination.

They can be:

  • a volunteer with the group
  • someone who benefits from the work of the group
  • someone who is aware of the work of group

Submit your nomination by 30 September to make sure your group is considered for an award the year after you nominate them.

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