The Queens Award for Voluntary Service is awarded in recognition of the hard work and dedication that teams of volunteers put in across the UK, and is open for 2020 nominations until 13th September 2019.
This year’s prestigious award – the “MBE of the voluntary sector” – has been given to Syston and District Volunteer Centre for outstanding work in making a difference to the community.
Winners are invited to a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace, receive a crystal trophy, and may display the highly respected QAVS logo for five years.
There are 283 winners every year across the whole of the UK – and we believe Leicestershire volunteers to be among the best in the country!
If you would like to nominate a group of volunteers that you know well for the 2020 awards (you may NOT nominate your own organisation…) we at the Community Foundation can offer some initial support with completing forms.
Syston and District Volunteer Centre 2019
This group of volunteers is making a huge difference to the lives of vulnerable people who would otherwise struggle to live independently. Over a thousand local people who are isolated, infirm or elderly have accessed support with shopping, cooking, gardening, DIY, signposting to other services and be-friending.
Volunteers provide a door to door car service to enable people to attend doctors or hospital appointments, hairdressers or visits to family. The volunteer centre seeks to improve people’s quality of life by offering excursions, community lunches and mobility aid hire none of which would be possible without their many dedicated volunteers who come from all walks of life and are all willing to give their experience and skills to improve other people’s lives.
For inspiration, some past winners from our county include:
Saffron Acres 2017
This project is all about growing healthy food and looking after the environment. They have reached deep into the local community through schools and services to interact with many people. Saffron Acres focuses on bringing people together to build friendships and has made the community stronger.
The volunteers can attend training, develop their skills and get involved. The project works with many different individuals in the local community for example, parents and toddlers, the probation centre, groups from schools and colleges, long term unemployed and they have an excellent record of supporting people back into work.
The twelve acre community allotment includes amongst other things an orchard, herb beds, fruit cages, vegetable plots. They have space to accommodate all sorts of big ideas and recently they have been working with the Leicester College to make jam to sell at the Co-op.
Twenty Twenty 2015
This organisation supports young people aged 11-24 from the most hopeless and adverse circumstances into education and employment. The work would not continue if it wasn’t for the unwavering energy and commitment of their volunteers who work as mentors, classroom assistants, receptionists, expert advisors, love4life group organisers and enrichment co-ordinators.
These volunteers are changing people’s lives. The young people have come from deprived neighbourhoods, backgrounds of long term unemployment, failure at school, and they become healthy, independent, aspirational individuals who can gain stable and progressive employment.
To nominate a voluntary group complete the forms online at ***https://qavs.culture.gov.uk/***