A Lancashire youth project honoured by The Queen is calling for people to nominate the county’s best volunteer groups for a national award.
Previous winners of The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, Fishwick Rangers Youth Development Scheme based in Preston, are encouraging entries for the next round of Awards before Friday 30th 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.
“It has really made a difference in promoting the scheme and helps show how the volunteers are valued and the good work they do has been recognised," says the Fishwick Rangers youth scheme’s secretary Fayaz Ahmed.
“We're proud to have won the Award and we have been delighted by the way it has enhanced our profile. It’s a real morale booster, breathing extra energy into the members and volunteers. It has spurred us on to go for other awards and we would certainly encourage others to nominate their local groups.”
Back in June, 12 outstanding groups in the North West, including five from Lancashire, received the Award after being nominated by friends, family, beneficiaries or members of the public, but there are many more groups in the county which deserve to receive this unique recognition for their volunteers which can only be done by making a nomination.
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 Lancashire to help recognise those doing outstanding work in their local communities. Whether you know a group or have benefitted personally from their activities, get a form and nominate!”
The winners of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2010/11 in the North West were:
Cumbria Alcohol and Drug Advisory Service Volunteers; Colne Open Door Centre Ltd.; Eden Valley Hospice Volunteers; Icebreakers Manchester; St Ann’s Hospice Volunteers, Greater Manchester; St John Ambulance Cheshire Young Carers; Thomas Street Bowling Club, Nelson; Tindall St Allotment Group, Eccles; Twinkle House, West Lancashire; West Lancashire Carers Sitting-In Service; West Lancashire Disability Helpline; and Wythenshawe Wheelers.
• Nominations can be made at any time but for those wishing to be considered for the 2012 Award, forms must be received by Friday 30th 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 firstname.lastname@example.org