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 the anniversary of the Queen's Coronation. It is the MBE for volunteer groups and is awarded for life. This year there were 241 recipients of The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service from across the UK and the Channel Islands and amazingly four Shropshire Groups have been presented the award!
This award is only given to outstanding groups of volunteers whose level of initiative and impact are truly exceptional. Each group is assessed on its overall benefit to the local community and its standing within that community. The awards will be presented to these groups locally by HM Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire, Mrs Anna Turner JP, at dates to be arranged in the summer, who said: “This prestigious award is richly deserved by each of the groups, who have made a real difference to so many people in the county of Shropshire.” Each group receives a crystal and a certificate signed by HM The Queen.
The Shrewsbury Food Hub stops food waste and tackles food poverty by sharing good leftover food from supermarkets with community groups. It was formed in April 2016. The group has had to adapt significantly during Covid-19 but has risen magnificently to the challenge, operating seven days a week. The amount of food that the Hub collects has increased six-fold since 2016, delivering enough food for 195,000 meals last year. The Shrewsbury Ark is a beneficiary of the Hub and Wendy Faulkner nominated them saying: “When most agencies stopped their service during COVID lockdown the food hub team of volunteers carried on. We at the Shrewsbury Ark would not know what to do without their continued support. Each and every volunteer, trustee and member of the Shrewsbury Food Hub deserve recognition for the hard work they put in.” Katy Anderson manager and co-founder of the Food Hub said “We are honoured to have been awarded The Queens Award for Voluntary Service on behalf of our volunteers, who work tirelessly to stop food waste and support our community. Our 116 volunteers are the heart of our organisation.”
The Shrewsbury Drapers provide sheltered housing for the elderly, preserve the heritage of the Guild and their historic Hall and promote a textile design competition. Locals and visitors benefit from Drapers Hall and its contribution to tourism and trade in Shrewsbury. The Textile Design Competition encourages and recognises the work of several hundred students and craftspeople. Major General John Crackett, the current Master of the Shrewsbury Drapers Company said, “I am delighted that we have been awarded the QAVS. Not only is this a superb recognition of all the hard work put in by our volunteers year after year, but also I hope that it will make us better known locally, and encourage a more diverse selection of skilled and energetic people to come and help us.”
The other two Shropshire-based winners are The Bright Star Boxing Academy in Shifnal and The Red House Community centre run by the Albrighton Village Hall’s Trust in Albrighton.
For more information on and a full list of the recipients and the Award can be found at www.gov.uk/queens-award-for-voluntary-service.
Full details on how to nominate are available at qavs.culture.gov.uk/ and nominations for the 2022 awards close on 15 September 2021.