Six Warwickshire organisations become first in the county to receive The King’s Award for Voluntary Service
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Six voluntary and charitable organisations across Warwickshire have officially been awarded The King’s Award for Voluntary Service (KAVS) 2023.
This is the highest award a local voluntary group can receive in the UK and is equivalent to an MBE.
The KAVS, formerly known as The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, aims to recognise the outstanding work delivered by local volunteer groups to benefit their communities.
It was originally created in 2002 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee, and this year is being announced on King Charles III’s birthday.
The first recipients to receive the newly named KAVS across Warwickshire for 2023 are:
- Helping Hands Community Project, based in Leamington, which aims to extend a compassionate hand to those affected by the causes and effects of homelessness. This includes helping with vulnerability in housing, domestic abuse, addiction, isolation, mental health challenges, and poverty.
- Own Books is a child-centred project based in Henley-in-Arden that aims to give away free books to children of all backgrounds and ages.
- Rugby Autism Network supports the parents and carers of young autistic people in Rugby, enabling families to enjoy quality time together by having access to autism-friendly events, bespoke days out, learning materials, workshops, and social support.
- The Graham Fulford Charitable Trust was set up by Graham Fulford to promote awareness of Prostate Cancer and encourage early diagnosis. Since 2004, the charity has been involved in testing more than 252,682 people and has so far identified 2,500 known cancers that might otherwise not have been discovered.
- Veterans Contact Point, is a military charity which supports those who have served in any of the UK Armed Forces who live in Coventry, Solihull, and Warwickshire. The charity provides peer support, signposting, social meetings, befriending schemes, welfare support, regular events such as the annual Armed Forces Day, as well as projects aimed at Veterans in the Criminal Justice System.
- Warwickshire Search and Rescue is one of 36 operational Lowland Rescue teams across the UK, and their mission is to search for vulnerable and high-risk missing persons across the county. The team are on call 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Representatives from the six Warwickshire groups will receive the award crystal and certificate from Tim Cox, Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire, within the next twelve months.
In addition, two volunteers from each group will be able to attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in 2024, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.
Tim Cox, His Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire, said: "Through their selfless dedication, these six groups in Warwickshire have shown us the true definition of community service, and I would like to congratulate them on achieving the first King’s Awards for Voluntary Service in Warwickshire.
“Their exemplary voluntary work has not only improved the lives of people in our local communities but contributed towards a thriving voluntary and charitable sector across our county.
“Let’s continue to celebrate and support these unsung heroes, and I hope that their efforts inspire even more groups to be nominated for The King's Award for Voluntary Service next year.”
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Leader of Warwickshire County Council, added: “I would like to extend my congratulations to the six organisations that have received The King’s Awards for Voluntary Service this year, and for their selfless commitment to supporting Warwickshire.
"The unwavering dedication of volunteers is fundamental to our communities, and I encourage everyone to nominate those who light up our lives and make sure that their invaluable voluntary contributions are acknowledged and celebrated."
To find out more about the KAVS, go to: www.gov.uk/kings-award-for-voluntary-service