Sixty voluntary groups have received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award in recognition of their work.
The recipients are established groups that have been adjudged to have made a contribution throughout the monarch’s reign and newer organisations that engaged volunteers to support this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games and build on the sporting legacy of London 2012.
Charities honoured include the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, St John Ambulance, Victim Support, Marie Curie Cancer Care and Girlguiding UK. Olympic-related groups recognised range from Locog Games Makers to the Coventry Ambassadors, who welcomed visitors to that city during the games.
The successful groups were selected from 112 eligible nominations. Organisations could nominate themselves but had to have two supporting external references.
The award, which was announced in February, is a one-off category of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, which was established in 2002 as part of the honours system to recognise the work of grass-roots organisations at local level. More than 1,000 community groups and local charities have received the honour over the past decade.
Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society, said the list of recipients of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award "reads like a Who’s Who of some of our most important charities and voluntary organisations".
"The 2012 Olympics brought volunteering firmly and deservedly into the spotlight," he said. "The stories behind these awards show what people can achieve when they come together and I hope they will inspire more people to come forward to contribute, and gain from, all that volunteering offers."
A selection of recipients will attend a reception in Whitehall tonight, while Buckingham Palace will hold a reception next year both to honour the recipients and mark 10 years of the QAVS.
Recipients of the 2013 QAVS will be announced on 2 June next year. Nominations for the 2014 awards are open until 30 September 2013.