Is there a voluntary group in your area that deserves to be recognised?
If you believe a voluntary group in your part of London deserves to be recognised for the valuable service it provides to the local community, there is still time to nominate them for a prestigious national award.
The deadline for nominations for the 2012 Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is Friday, 30 September.
The Award, part of the UK National Honours system, was created by the Queen to mark the Golden Jubilee in 2002 and recognises the outstanding contributions made to local communities by groups of volunteers. Next year is the Award’s 10th anniversary and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year. To help celebrate these two events, the aim is to give even more voluntary groups a chance to receive the Award.
In June this year, six outstanding groups in London received the Award after being nominated by friends, family, beneficiaries or members of the public, but there are many more groups in the capital that deserve this recognition for their volunteers.
Present holders of the award include Esther Community Enterprise, which runs a team of 100 drivers, and many other volunteers, across London. They collect from supermarkets useable food and clothing that would otherwise be thrown away and redistribute them via a team of 36 organisations who partner with ECE. The recipients range from the homeless to schools and those facing financial hardship.
June Ross-Wildman, who manages Esther Community Enterprise from her home in Croydon, said: “To find that we had won the Award was a blessing and a real boost to all those who volunteer and help us. It will really help raise our profile and validate the work we do, and I would encourage people to nominate similar voluntary groups in their own areas.”
A winner of the Award in 2010, the London-based Coroners’ Courts Support Service (CCSS) was launched in January 2003 and supports bereaved families and witnesses at Inquests in a Coroner’s Court. CCSS volunteers provide a sympathetic ear, explain the processes and procedures of the court, and accompany families and witnesses into court, ensuring they have received all the necessary information from the Coroner’s Officer.
In London, the service is provided for Inquests in Barnet, Croydon, Fulham, St Pancras, Southwark, Walthamstow and Westminster. It is also available for certain courts in Buckinghamshire, Kent, Essex, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Berkshire, Surrey, and Oxford; and is to be introduced in Reading, Liverpool and Stockport.
CCSS Director Beverley Radcliffe said:
"Receiving the award was fabulous and it was a boost to our morale to know that we were seen as a really professionally run voluntary organisation. I would definitely encourage nominations for other local voluntary groups."
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Main Award Committee Chair and former broadcast journalist Martyn Lewis CBE said:
“Volunteering groups make a huge contribution to people’s lives, often without praise for the incredible job they do. A prestigious UK National Honour such as The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service can prove invaluable in so many ways to their ongoing success.
“The importance of volunteer groups is all the more apparent in the current climate, and I urge people across London to help recognise those doing outstanding work in their local communities. Whether you know a group or have benefited personally from their activities, get a form and nominate!”
Nominations can be made at any time, but for those wishing to be considered for the 2012 Award, forms must be received by 30 September 2011. For further details of how to nominate and to see The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service recipients visit www.direct.gov.uk/qavs or contact the Award Administrator on email@example.com
September 23, 2011