Local community organisations are being encouraged by Cumbernauld CAN (Community Anchor Network) to submit nominations for the highest UK award available to volunteer groups.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the equivalent to the MBE for organisations and is awarded to several UK groups each year who make a positive impact in their community and benefit others through their work.
Introduced in 2002 to mark the 50th anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation, winners of the prestigious Award are announced by Buckingham Palace on 2 June every year.
Lady Susan Haughey CBE, who serves as Cumbernauld’s representative to The Queen in her role as Lord Lieutenant of Lanarkshire, is actively seeking Award nominations from local organisations for the 2021 roll of honour. She said:
“I am very much aware of the many groups in the county where so many volunteers give freely of their talents and time for the benefit of others.
“I would encourage anyone who is aware of a group providing exceptional social, economic or environmental service in their area to consider nominating them for this award.” Mary McNeil, Development Manager of Cornerstone House Centre, added:
“There are so many groups in Greater Cumbernauld who would be deserving of such an honour for the continual effort they put in to improving local communities and people’s lives.
“During 2020, in its role as a Community Anchor Organisation, Cornerstone House Centre has had the privilege of learning about many organisations who have sacrificed their own needs and interests to help vulnerable citizens in Cumbernauld through the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“As such, The Award provides an outstanding opportunity for recognition and we would encourage local voluntary sector organisations who meet the eligibility criteria to make a nomination.”
Local assessment panels consider all nominations made and decide which ones to send to The National Awards Committee. The Committee then makes its recommendations to The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (UK Government), which sends a final list of Award winners to The Queen for approval.
Any group of two or more people undertaking volunteering that has been running for at least three years can be nominated for The Award. The majority of the group must be volunteers, and to be nominated the group should be run locally and provide a service to the community. Groups are encouraged to self-nominate.
Notably, the accolade is targeted at volunteers who have taken initiative to create, lead and drive forward the work of their organisation in an excellent and distinctive way.
Award winners receive a certificate signed by The Queen and a domed crystal glass. Two representatives from Award achieving groups will also be invited to attend a royal garden party at either Buckingham Palace (London) or the Palace of Holyroodhouse (Edinburgh).
Successful organisations are also entitled to use The Queen’s Award emblem on their website, stationery and other printed material, in line with official guidance.
SSAFA Lanarkshire, an organisation which works to ensure that the needs of veterans of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, British Army and Royal Air Force and their families are met, was the only Lanarkshire recipient of The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2020.
A total of 230 UK charities and community groups received The Award this year. Martyn Lewis, Independent Committee Chair of The Queen’s Award, said:
“This year’s Queen’s Awards highlight the considerable achievements of groups of volunteers who have been making a real impact to the fabric of our country for many years.
“Inspired by all that is best in the human spirit, they are made up of local people who have come together to address particular issues and problems facing their communities, often in new and imaginative ways.
“All of The Award winners have demonstrated a long-term commitment to volunteering that gives real meaning to society, and which shows Britain at its best.
“Moreover, some of them have also managed to provide valuable support with the fight against COVID-19. We owe them our gratitude and our congratulations.”
Further details about The Award and nomination process can be obtained by visiting The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service website. Nominations for the 2021 awards require to be submitted online by Friday 25 September 2020.