The recipients of the 2021 Queen's Award for Voluntary Service have been announced, with 241 organisations honoured across the UK.
This year’s winners include Bradford Immigration and Asylum Support and Advice Network (BIASAN) and Asylum Link Merseyside, which both provide support for asylum seekers.
Other beneficiaries are Fellrunner Village Bus, a volunteer-run public transport service in Cumbria, and Barmouth Community First, a Gwyneth-based charity which provides first-aid support in rural areas until emergency medical services arrive.
The recipients of the Queen’s Award are announced every year on 2 June, the anniversary of the Queen’s coronation.
Minister: Winners are the ‘backbone’ of communities
Baroness Barran, the minister for civil society, hailed volunteers as “the backbone of local communities” during the national recovery from Covid-19.
Barran said: “I’m extremely grateful for the work being carried out by volunteers across the country, and this prestigious award is extremely well deserved. I’d like to congratulate all of the winners, and thank them for the dedication to their communities.
“In these challenging times, charities, social enterprises and their volunteers have been the backbone of local communities.
“Recent research has shown that 99% of people who have volunteered report positive personal benefits, including a sense of purpose, achievement and feeling as though they are making a difference. I hope today’s award inspires people and I encourage everyone to consider how they could volunteer in some way.”
Many of those honoured have adapted their services to respond to the Covid-19 outbreak.
This has been recognised through a special designation given to 164 of the group for providing impactful support during the initial lockdown.
“Your work sets an incredible example to others and I congratulate all of you.“— DCMS (@DCMS) June 2, 2021
Sir Martyn Lewis, Chair of the @QueensAwardVS Committee, says well done to everyone receiving a Queen’s Award today.
Congratulations all! #QAVS2021 | #VolunteersWeek https://t.co/ARtphlzjCh pic.twitter.com/1E8yiIVV5J
Martyn Lewis, chair of The Queen’s Award for voluntary service independent committee, said: “There is no finer example of democracy in action than people getting together at a local level to tackle a problem or issue at the heart of their community.
“This year’s magnificent award-winning groups touch virtually every area of need across our society.
“They also highlight the growing and key role which volunteers are playing in times of rapid change and unprecedented challenges.
“Whether driven by a neighbourly passion to help others or to achieve that well recognised ‘high’ of personal satisfaction, volunteering taps into a rich spirit of generosity, ingenuity and kindness. The Queen’s Award’s judges are proud to honour the achievements of those who help to make our country great.”
Winners of the award can be seen on the awards map.
Nominations for the 2022 awards close on 15 September 2021.