The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service

The 'QAVS' is an award for outstanding achievement carried out by groups of volunteers. It is the highest award given to volunteer groups throughout the United Kingdom.

Information in this section explains the eligibility criteria for volunteer groups and how to make a nomination for The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.

Queen’s Voluntary Service Award Eligibility

QAVS award nominations can be for any group that contains two (2) or more people conducting volunteering work.

Groups cannot be nominated unless the work they do is ‘locally’ run, and:

  • It provides a service (meeting a need for people who live in the local community).
  • The local community (and people who benefit from it) support, recognise, and respect the work.

The majority of people involved in any ‘large groups’ must be volunteers. And, more than half of the volunteers must possess the legal right to live in the United Kingdom.

Note: The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service nomination criteria also states that volunteer groups should have been running for at least three (3) years.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Winners

Winners of the QAVS award receive a certificate signed by the Queen as well as a domed glass crystal statuette. In some cases, an invitation to attend a royal garden party also goes to the representatives of certain volunteer groups.

Getting Approval from The Queen

Reviews of the nominations take place by local assessment panels. Their role is deciding which nominees will go forward to the National Award Committee.

The next step is for the committee to make its recommendations to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). They will then send a final list to Her Majesty The Queen for approval.

The London Gazette announces the current winners on the 2nd of June each year, which also coincides with the anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Nominating a Group of Volunteers for QAVS

You must use the online process for nominating a group for The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. After that, the assessment panel considers nominees for an award in the year that follows the actual nomination.

Note: You should submit a nomination no later than midnight on the 21st of September to ensure the group gets a consideration for the next QAVS awards.

Getting Support for a Nomination

Nominees must be independent of the group. You would also need letters from two (2) people who support the same nomination and are also independent from the group that you are nominating.

For example, someone who supports your nomination can be:

  • A person who benefits from the work carried out by the group of volunteers.
  • A person who is familiar and aware of the work carried out by the group of volunteers.

Letters given to you by supporters of the nomination must include:

  • How the volunteer group helps local communities.
  • What kind of relationship you have with the group of volunteers.

Contact the Award Administrator

You can find out more details about the award process and get help with a nomination from the Award Administrator:

QAVS Enquiries
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 0207 271 6206
List of phone call charges.

Note: The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service website has further guidance notes about making a nomination.

The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award for Voluntary Service by Groups in the Community