The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service

GNUFThe Queen's Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) is the highest award given to UK volunteer groups, being equivalent to the MBE.

The prestigious award recognises exceptional work done by volunteer groups in their communities.

When are the awards announced?

QAVS awardees are announced annually on 2 June, when a special London Gazette supplement, detailing all winning groups according to region, is published.

This national honour was first announced in April 2002 to mark the anniversary of the Queen's coronation, with the first awardees announced in 2003 (Gazette issue 56950).

How are the winners nominated and chosen?

Anyone aware of the group, including people who benefit from the group's activities, may make a nomination. After consideration, local assessment panels send their chosen nominations to a national award committee. 

GNUFWho is eligible?    

To be eligible for the QAVS, a group must:

  • be made up of three or more people
  • be based in the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man
  • have been in operation for at least three years
  • have over half its volunteers eligible to reside in the UK
  • be led by volunteers, not by paid staff (we would normally expect at least half the group’s members to be volunteers)
  • provide a specific and direct local benefit

How can I nominate a group?

In order to nominate a group for the QAVS, you must not:

  • be a volunteer, employee or trustee of the group, or in any way involved with the running of the organisation

You must also:

  • be a member of the public with a good knowledge of the group’s work (such as a beneficiary or long-term supporter)
  • be able to supply two separate letters of support from two additional people who know the group well

Nominations are made online and you will need to complete the nomination form and submit the two letters of support.

Nominations for the 2022 awards will be accepted from 1 April 2021 until 15 September 2021.

winners standing in a groupThe Gazette QAVS supplements

The annual awards for outstanding work in the local community are published in The Gazette, and can be found according to year below:

2003: The London Gazette, issue 56950

2004: The London Gazette, issue 57305

2005: The London Gazette, issue 57656

2006: The London Gazette, issue 57998

2007: The London Gazette, issue 58343

2008: The London Gazette, issue 58714

2009: The London Gazette, issue 59086

2010: The London Gazette, issue 59435

2011: The London Gazette, issue 59799awardees to

2012: The London Gazette, issue 60161

2013: The London Gazette, issue 60522

2014: The London Gazette, issue 60882

2015: The London Gazette, issue 61244

2016: The London Gazette, issue 61599 

2017: The London Gazette, issue 61945 

2018: The London Gazette, issue 62303 

2019: The London Gazette, issue 62658

2020: The London Gazette, issue 63013

2021: The London Gazette, issue 63366

Find out more at Gov.uk and The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service website 

Images (from top), 2017 awardees: 

  • The Grand Northern Ukulele Festival, an inclusive, inspiring weekend of arts and music in Huddersfield, 'events to connect, inspire and promote the very best in all of us', © James Millar
  • Loughborough Students' Action, '25,000 hours of volunteering annually; helping all ages; improving social support, education and the environment'.
  • Thames Valley Kings Wheelchair Basketball Club, 'providing those with and without physical disabilities the opportunity to participate in wheelchair basketball'.