Record number of Essex voluntary groups receive The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services for 2019

Nine voluntary groups from across the county, who work in the community, have been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

The nine groups are:

  • Beacon House Ministries – established in Colchester 22 years ago to help the homeless and those less fortunate. Find out more on their website >
  • Essex Search and Rescue – 74 highly trained volunteers who respond to calls from the police to search for vulnerable missing persons 365 days a year. Find out more on their website >
  • Footprints Community Group – have been working in Rochford for 12 years providing activities for young people to make a positive impact on their lives.
  • Grant A Smile – provides free house cleaning and emotional support for families living with serious or terminal illness. Find out more on their website >
  • Havering and Brentwood Bereavement Service – have been in existence for over 30 years and provide counselling support to young people, adults, and families. Find out more on their website >
  • Hearing Help Essex – alleviates isolation and loneliness for thousands of people who suffer hearing loss across the county. Find out more on their website >
  • SOS Rape Crisis – established in Southend in 2011 and provides sexual advisory services to young people and adults. Find out more on their website >
  • Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome – more than 150 volunteers have transformed a semi-derelict World War 1 aerodrome into an amazing historical attraction. Find out more on their website >
  • Teen Talk, Harwich – started 22 years ago and provides early intervention and emotional support to 11 to 25 year olds with complex and vulnerable lives. Find out more on their website >


The nine groups from Essex are amongst 281 charities, social enterprises, and volunteer-led groups to receive the prestigious award this year across the UK. The number of awarded groups have increased again this year, demonstrating the continuous expansion and value of the voluntary sector in today’s society.

This award is given to volunteer groups across the UK to recognise exceptional service within their communities. The recipients of the award are announced each year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

Representatives of the nine winning groups in Essex attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May, along with other recipients of this years Award.

The nine Essex winners will receive the Award from Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst, Lord Lieutenant of Essex, later this summer.

Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst, Lord Lieutenant of Essex said: “The announcement of nine winners of the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services, the highest national award for voluntary groups, across Essex is a wonderful tribute to the outstanding work of the voluntary sector. Only one other county in the UK had more winners than Essex which speaks volumes for the excellence of volunteering in our county and the increasing importance of the work of volunteers for community wellbeing. I am delighted that nine extremely deserving groups, who are providing a wide range of services to our communities have been honoured by Her Majesty the Queen. I look forward to presenting the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services to each of the groups over the coming months and to be able to celebrate their success with their volunteers and many who receive their excellent service”.