A total of 230 UK charities and community groups have been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service this year.
Many of those awarded have adapted their services to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The award is considered “the MBE for volunteer groups" and recognises exceptional service within communities and is the highest honour for volunteer groups in the UK.
Last year a record number of 281 voluntary groups were awarded the 2019 Queen’s Award.
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 – in some cases decades. 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 these 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.”
The recipients of the Queen’s Award are announced every year on 2 June, the anniversary of the Queen’s coronation.
Winners of the award can be seen on the award map. Some of the winners include the Eglinton Community Centre, Cymer Afan Community Library and Forward Assist.
'In these challenging times, they have stepped up their response'
Baroness Barran, minister for civil society, said: “This prestigious award recognises the important work being done by volunteers across the country and I’d like to congratulate all of the winners for their hard work and dedication supporting their communities.
“Charities, social enterprises and their volunteers are the glue that holds our communities together. In these challenging times, they have stepped up their response and been vital to the national effort, for which we are all grateful.”
Any volunteer-led group comprising two or more people having a positive impact on the lives of others in an exceptional way can be nominated for an award. Nominations for the 2021 awards close on 25 September 2020.
Local assessment panels look at all the nominations and decide which ones to send to the National Award Committee.
The committee makes recommendations to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), which sends a final list to the Queen for her approval.