Queen's Award for Voluntary Service
It is now official that we have been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. It was a difficult two months: we were told in April that we had been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service but we were forbidden to tell anyone until the official release of the news on 2 June.
Well done to all our directors for not breaching the injunction. But we can now celebrate the award. And celebrate we should! The QAVS is regarded as the equivalent of an MBE, except it is solely for voluntary groups. It was initiated in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. It aims to recognise what the awarders call ‘outstanding work’.
Make no mistake, this is a very prestigious award; after a preliminary vetting, around 800 groups across the UK were proposed for the award and after further close scrutiny 281 were successful. There will be an Award ceremony in Belfast Castle in September when the Lord Lieutenant for the County Borough of Belfast, Mrs Fionnuala Jay-O’Boyle CBE, will present us with symbols of our success - a piece of commemorative crystal along with a certificate with the Queen’s signature.
From now on, we are entitled to use the QAVS logo on our website, on all our stationery and publications. And we will do this with pride. After all, nearly sixty of us worked very hard over thirty years to achieve it!