Community: Last call for volunteers to get royal recognition

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Time is running out to help secure royal recognition for a group of volunteers in your community, with the chance of receiving a royal honour for the outstanding contribution these groups make across the East of England.

Nominations close on Friday, September 30, for the 2012 Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, offering voluntary organisations the chance to join almost a thousand that have received the honour, the MBE for volunteer groups, since it began in 2002 – including 89 from the East of England.

The award was created by the Queen to mark the Golden Jubilee in 2002. Next year is its 10th anniversary and to help celebrate this and the Diamond Jubilee, the aim is to give even more voluntary groups a chance to receive the award.

In June this year, eight outstanding groups in the East received this Award after being nominated by friends, family, beneficiaries or members of the public, but there are many more groups which deserve to receive this recognition for their volunteers which can only be done by making a nomination.

The main committee chair for the awards, former broadcaster Martyn Lewis, 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 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!”

Nominations can be made at any time throughout the year but for those wishing to be considered for the 2012 Award, forms must be received by September 30.

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 email queensaward@cabinet-office.gsi.gov.uk