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In praise of unsung heroes: The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

The Duke of Gloucester is scheduled to present the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service to Rowheath Pavilion, Bournville, Birmingham on 22 September. The pavilion serves as a host venue to a broad range of community events and groups. There is also a café and bar located in the building. All activities and money brought in by the café, bar and events held are used for running the pavilion.

The Duke of Gloucester  pictured here at the Somme Heritage Centre during his visit to Northern Ireland in March 2015.

The Duke of Gloucester pictured here at the Somme Heritage Centre during his visit to Northern Ireland in March 2015.

The Duke will also present the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service to the Solihull Cancer Support Group followed by a visit to the Marie Curie Hospice where he will meet staff and patients. The Solihull Cancer Support Group holds local meetings where those battling cancer, their friends or family members may come to find support. This group provides information on best healthcare practices, nutrition, and counseling in both group and individual settings to those struggling with their cancer diagnosis, their friends and/or family.

These are only 2 of the 187 local charities, social enterprises and voluntary organizations chosen this year to receive the highest award given to local voluntary groups in the United Kingdom.

There was a 60% increase from 2014 of those selected to receive the award. It recognizes those who provide outstanding social, economic or environmental services to their local communities. These organizations are recognized by their communities and are highly respected for the service they provide to residents. They seek to improve the quality of life and provide opportunities to those they serve. This award has been handed out to organizations providing all manner of services. From family support to academic services ,environmental services to play schemes.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service was created in 2002. It was first known as the Queen’s Jubilee Award. The first recipients were announced during the celebrations for Her Majesty’s Golden jubilee in June of that year. The tradition continues annually with all award-winners announced on 2nd June, the aniversery of the Queen’s coronation.

Beneficiaries of the group’s service, members of the public, other voluntary groups or those in public office may nominate an organization that has been in existence for over 3 years for the award. Once nominated, they are evaluated by a local assessment panel before being sent on to the National Award Committee. The committee then submits its recommendations to the Cabinet Office who then drafts a final list for Her Majesty’s approval.

Award recipients receive a certificate signed by The Queen and a commemorative domed glass crystal to showcase at their headquarters. They may also receive an invitation for someone from their group to attend one of the royal garden parties held at Buckingham Palace.

Photo Credit: Northern Ireland Office via Flickr

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