These annual awards recognise outstanding voluntary activities by groups in the community.
The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK for outstanding work done in their local communities for the benefit of others.
The Annual Award - the equivalent of an MBE - was created by Her Majesty in 2002 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of her coronation. The Awards are announced on 2nd June each year. The Lord-Lieutenant visits the winning groups to present a certificate signed by The Queen, together with an engraved commemorative crystal. The Clerk to the Lieutenancy will read the citation before the award is made.
This prestigious UK national honour sets the national benchmark for excellence in volunteering. Each nomination is judged on the benefits it gives to the local community. There are not a set number of winners in a sector of volunteering work or region of the country.
You are actively encouraged to nominate any volunteer group in County Durham if you know about the work they do and believe it should be honoured in this way. Nominations must be submitted by 30th September of each year for consideration for the following year. Any group of two or more people doing volunteering work (for three years or more) that is a social, economic or environmental service to the local community can be nominated, on-line, for the award.
If the volunteer group you nominate is eligible for the Award, the nomination will be assessed initially at county level. The Lord-Lieutenant tasks Deputy Lieutenants to visit volunteer groups that have been nominated, to make an assessment. The National Award Committee looks at these and makes recommendations to the Cabinet Office. Winning volunteer groups will be informed if they are going to win the award before the public announcement is made.
For full details, access their website qavs.direct.gov.uk