Apply for a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

Any group undertaking volunteer work that provides a social, economic or environmental service to the local community in Cambridgeshire can be nominated for the award of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS). There have been some outstanding winners in Cambridgeshire.

The Award
The QAVS is the highest award given to volunteer groups to recognise outstanding work undertaken in local communities. The Award recognizes groups whose volunteer work and activity has both significantly benefited others, and that it is exceptional in nature. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the 50th Jubilee Anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. It is in effect the MBE for volunteer groups.

How to apply
Anyone aware of a voluntary group, including people who benefit from the group’s activities may make a nomination. Nominations should however not come from those who are paid staff members or are volunteers themselves.  Full details including guidance notes and online nomination are available at qavs.culture.gov.uk. Two letters of support from people independent of the group also need to be provided. The deadline for nominations is mid-September.

The process
Nominations should be completed on-line by mid-September, and the QAVS Awards are published the following year in the London Gazette on June 2nd, the anniversary of Her Majesty’s coronation. The QAVS is a high status award and the assessment is thorough and rigorous so as to maintain the value of, and public respect for, the Award. Each nomination is judged solely on merit.

Once the nomination has been submitted the QAVS Office in London refers the application back to the Lord-Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire for a report prepared by Local Assessors. The Assessors, normally two Deputy Lieutenants, visit the organisation and produce a confidential report for the Lord-Lieutenant. The Lord-Lieutenant considers the report and then sends it for final consideration by an Awards Committee at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.  This Committee advises the Minister, who advises Her Majesty The Queen.

Winners
Successful winners are presented with a certificate signed by The Queen and a crystal glass award by the Lord-Lieutenant.  Two representatives of the group may also be invited to attend a Royal Garden Party.

Help and advice
For further advice, please visit qavs.culture.gov.uk/guidance-notes