Announced in 2002 as part of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations, The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) is an annual award made to recognise and reward excellence in voluntary activities carried out by groups in the community.
It is given for outstanding achievement by groups of volunteers who regularly devote their time to helping others in the community, improving the quality of life and opportunity for others and providing an outstanding service.
Groups must be nominated: for example, by beneficiaries of their work, members of the public, representatives of public bodies, or other voluntary groups. Nominations are assessed by a regional committee before being passed to a national committee for final selection and recommendation to The Queen.
Of the 22 groups from Greater Manchester that were honoured this week (3rd August 2015) at a reception at the Gorton Monastery, three were from my home town of Gorton, and the video I took of their citation and awards can be seen and heard here:
I am an active committee member of the Gorton Horticultural Society, my allotment is on their site at Debdale Reservoir Allotments and any regular readers of my blogs over the years, or followers of my Facebook and Twitter accounts, will be aware of the enjoyment I get from growing my own produce and participating in our community activities.
The Debdale Woodlands Community Association, chaired by my good friend Rose Cusak, is a formidable local organisation that has totally changed the area where I live. I am proud to be able to say that I helped found both the Debdale TRA and the Woodlands TRA which merged in 2002 to form the new association.
Oasis works with vulnerable people who have difficulty in reintegrating with society to give them the skills and support that they need in order to get on in life. They do a marvellous job of enabling people to re-integrate into our community and our society.
QAVS is the highest award in the UK for voluntary Groups, and is considered equal to an MBE for voluntary Groups.
In total 22 organisations from Greater Manchester were honoured on Monday 3rd August.