This year 4 groups of Island volunteers have been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service; this is the highest award that a voluntary group can receive in the UK, and is the equivalent of an individual being awarded an MBE.
The local groups awarded include Isle of Wight Music Dance and Drama Festival, Isle of Wight Multiple Sclerosis, Royal Isle of Wight County Show and Vectis Radio.
The Music Dance and Drama Festival has just celebrated its 91st year, with 3,700 entries in over 400 classes, operating in 6 venues in 3 towns.
The County Show has also been around for a very long time, dating back to 1874, celebrating its 120th show in 2019. The volunteers have been recognised for their great work in revitalising the show over the last 7 years, thus contributing to the growth of the Island rural economy.
Isle of Wight Multiple Sclerosis was set up over 40 years ago, moving to its current premises in Shanklin in 2009. The group is highly successful in supporting, both emotionally and financially, those suffering from MS together with their families.
Vectis Radio was established 10 years ago and was recognised for its support of local charities and for their excellent 4Ps training programme for young people with learning difficulties, which enables them to present, promote, produce and make podcasts.
The Island winners are amongst only 230 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations has increased year on year, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate The Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Recipients are announced each year on June 2nd, the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation.
Representatives of our winning groups will receive their awards from Susie Sheldon, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of the Isle of Wight, later this summer; and 2 volunteers from each group will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2021.
The Lord-Lieutenant commented:
“I am delighted that the brilliant work of these groups has been recognised, and I have been so impressed with their unceasing and tireless efforts to improve the lives of others.
“The fact that the Isle of Wight has won 20 Queen’s Awards in the last 6 years, underlines our community’s strong commitment to voluntary work and service”.
Graham Biss, Chairman of the Royal Isle of Wight County Show, says:
“On behalf of the many volunteers and supporters who contribute so much towards the show I am delighted all their hard work and commitment has been recognised. We are honoured to receive this award”.
Kelvin Currie, Vectis Radio Director, said:
“I am honoured that the efforts of a relatively small team of volunteers have been recognised in this way. It is a testament to the hard work of these volunteers, both behind the microphone and behind the scenes that Vectis Radio is the station it is. This award is a fantastic achievement, and congratulations are due to all who do so much for Vectis Radio.”
Nominations for the QAVS 2021 close on 25th September 2020. Information about how to make a nomination can be found on the Isle of Wight Lieutenancy website.