The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK.
It was created in 2002 to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Golden Jubilee, and is announced on 2 June every year.
It is the MBE for volunteer groups and is awarded for life.
Who is awarded with a QAVS?
It is awarded to groups of volunteers whose level of initiative and impact are truly exceptional. A successful group will normally have the following characteristics:
- Exceptional in comparison to similar groups
- Making a considerable difference locally
- Outstanding reputation
What are the eligibility requirements?
- The group must comprise 2 or more people
- The group must have been operating for a minimum of 3 years
- The group may have some paid staff, but at least half of the people who work in the group must be volunteers
- More than half the group’s volunteers must have the right of residence in the UK
- The group has the appropriate insurance(s) required for its work
- The group satisfies requirements to safeguard children and vulnerable adults, if appropriate
What do awarded Groups get?
QAVS are only awarded to the very best of hundreds of nominations each year.
- Announced on 2 June in The London Gazette
- Awardees are presented with a domed glass crystal and a certificate bearing Her Majesty The Queen’s signature.
- The right to use the QAVS logo.
- Two volunteers from each awarded group are invited to attend a Royal Garden Party.
How do I nominate a group?
- Anyone can nominate a group, as long as they are not one of its employees or volunteers.
- Nominations can be submitted this year between 1 April to 25 September 2020 via the Award’s website https://culture.gov.uk
Nominations are particularly encouraged from beneficiaries of a group’s work, or from those who are not involved with the group but have observed and admired the results of their work
What groups in the Armed Forces charity sector have received a QAVS?
Examples of Cobseo members who have received an award in recent years include Forces in the Community (based in Nottingham, awarded 2017), Veterans Outreach Support (based in Portsmouth, awarded 2017) and Veterans at Ease (based in Durham, awarded 2016).
How do I contact the QAVS Team?
The QAVS Team at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport administers the Award and will happily help with any queries.
Telephone: 020 7271 6206
More guidance is available on the QAVS website: https://qavs.culture.gov.uk