Lancashire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
10:00 AM 14th November 2023

Winners Of The First King’s Award For Voluntary Service Announced


262 organisations across the UK have been awarded the first ever King’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award given to local volunteer groups in recognition of their outstanding community service.

Formerly known as The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the award was established in 2002 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. It is equivalent to an MBE and is the highest honour awarded to voluntary groups.

Awarded annually to some of the UK’s most inspiring volunteer-led groups for their charitable endeavours, this year 227 organisations from England, 20 from Scotland, six from Wales and nine from Northern Ireland have received the first ever King’s Award.

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said:
"Each year, millions of volunteers give up their time to provide care and support, and this award recognises those truly making a difference to the lives of others across the United Kingdom.

"It’s brilliant to see the King continue the legacy of Her Late Majesty and reward those who support their local communities with kindness and compassion. Congratulations to all those who have been awarded."

Sir Martyn Lewis CBE, the KAVS Chair said:
"I have no doubt that these awards will delight His Majesty The King, with his well-known commitment to volunteering, on his birthday. This year’s 262 King’s Awards for Voluntary Service honour truly impressive recipients across the length and breadth of the UK.

"The awardees work selflessly as groups of volunteers to address every conceivable kind of local issue across all our communities. We owe them huge congratulations, but also much more than that for the inestimable value they bring to our society."

From charities offering financial and practical support to cardiac patients; local community arts and culture centres; search and rescue services and volunteer-run community radio stations, the work of the awardees is wide ranging. Organisations support young people, those suffering from loneliness and isolation, and ethnic minority groups amongst others.

Recipients include:

BEEP Doctors (BASICs) Cumbria - a local charity delivering free highly-skilled emergency medical care to seriously injured patients across rural and urban Cumbria. In 2022, the organisation attended to 262 call outs and dedicated 1656 hours of volunteering.
Pegasus Men Wellbeing Centre in Redruth - a support centre offering free one-to-one counselling and wellbeing support to those in Cornwall experiencing a range of issues, including depression, relationship and family issues and managing stress.
Brill Village Community Herd - a volunteer group caring for a community-owned herd of cows grazing the common in the village of Brill, conserving the habitat and restoring biodiversity. Volunteers check on the herd and work together to relocate it to new grazing areas, bringing the local community together.
Northumberland Log Bank - a log bank delivering logs to those in need due to financial constraints, poor health, advanced age or rural isolation in rural Northumberland, aiming to support around 300 households this winter.
Isle of Wight Literary Festival - a registered charity promoting literature to enhance the education and wellbeing of the Island community. They currently have 50 volunteers who provide support to festival goers and speakers alike, maintaining the rooms and ensuring the annual event runs smoothly. The organisation also runs a Schools’ Programme to enrich the education of under 18s by increasing available cultural experiences.
Wolverhampton ALZ Cafe - a bi monthly gathering offering integrated support to people living with dementia, their families and the community in the West Midlands. They offer a range of free activities including social evenings where beneficiaries can enjoy music, dancing, food and drink as well as day trips.

Throughout her 70-year reign, Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II took a keen interest in recognising outstanding work and acts of service by individuals and groups, a legacy being continued by His Majesty The King. From this year onwards, awardees will be announced annually on 14 November to mark The King’s birthday.

The next round of awards will be assessed from December 2023 until May 2024, with the awardees being announced in November 2024.