Representatives from a record number of Essex voluntary groups nominated for this year’s Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, are pictured with civic leaders during a reception at County Hall in Chelmsford.

Record number of Essex groups nominated for QAVS

Twenty-three organisations from Essex, the second highest from UK counties, were nominated for this year’s awards which were set up in 2002 to mark the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.

Hosting the reception were Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst, Lord-Lieutenant of Essex, and Cllr John Jowers, Essex County Council chairman with Charles Clark OBE DL, chair of the Essex QAVS Panel.

As well as thanking the nominated groups, the event in February also promoted the awards to the voluntary sector to encourage nominations.

Mrs Tolhurst said: “The voluntary sector in Essex make a huge contribution to the well-being and life of our great county. It is wonderful to see so many groups nominated for this prestigious award and to be able to bring together those who are close to the voluntary sector to encourage them to find really outstanding groups for future nomination.”

County councillor John Jowers, said: “It is a great pleasure to jointly host this QAVS Reception with the Lord Lieutenant, in conjunction with Southend and Thurrock Councils, and sponsored by MITIE Facilities Services, to thank the excellent voluntary groups who have won and those who have been nominated for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services. The reception is also an opportunity to promote the Queen’s Award for future nominations.“

Winners of QAVS are announced each year on June 2, the Queen’s official birthday.  The QAVS award is the equivalent of an MBE for voluntary groups.

Nominated groups from Essex are:  3rd Chalkwell Bay Sea Scouts, 57 West, Canvey Island Youth Project (Yellow Door), Chess Hub (Church Homeless Emergency Support), Children’s Burn’s Club, City of Chelmsford Mencap, Colchester and District Talking Newspaper, Colchester Foodbank, Essex Police Special Constabulary, Helping Hands Essex, Kids Inspire, Lads Need Dads, Patient Health Group, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow, Rainbow Services, Support 4 Sight, South Essex Community Hub, Southend Community Events CIC, St John the Baptist Church and Tilbury Foodbank, Templesprings Music Centre, Volunteer Police Cadets, Essex Police, The Wilderness Foundation, Waltham Abbey Youth 2000, YMCA Essex.