Four organisations from Wales have been awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service this year.
The Roots Foundation Wales, Cymer Afan Community Library, Hands Around the World and Swansea Canal Society have received the highest award given to organisations delivering exceptional service within their communities.
Coinciding with Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June), this year’s Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service celebrates the work of a fantastic, diverse range of volunteer groups whose work has enhanced and supported local communities over a number of years.
The Queen’s Award offers a chance to highlight their outstanding contribution to society and also to recognise the crucial role many have played to support vulnerable people during the pandemic.
This year’s recipients demonstrate the diversity of organisations supporting our communities and also their ability to innovate – many have been able to adapt their services in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
When a local food bank closed in Neath Port Talbot because its volunteers were self-isolating, the Cymer Afan Community Library quickly decided to repurpose their building, staff and volunteers and transform the library into a temporary food bank for the community.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Independent Committee Chair Sir Martyn Lewis, said:
This year’s Queen’s Awards highlight the considerable achievements of groups of volunteers who have been making a real impact to the fabric of our country for many years – in some cases decades. Inspired by all that is best in the human spirit, they are made up of local people who have come together to address particular issues and problems facing their communities – often in new and imaginative ways.
All of these award winners have demonstrated a long-term commitment to volunteering that gives real meaning to society, and which shows Britain at its best. Moreover, some of them have also managed to provide valuable support with the fight against Covid-19. We owe them our gratitude – and our congratulations.
Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart said:
These awards recognise the hours of hard work that volunteers and organisations across the UK put in to serve their communities and create a sense of local pride. This year’s Welsh recipients are no exception, and in the current global pandemic their work in their communities is more valuable than ever.
Congratulations to the four Welsh recipients who all thoroughly deserve this award for the positive role they play in society.
Minister for Civil Society, Baroness Barran said:
This prestigious award recognises the important work being done by volunteers across the country and I’d like to congratulate all of the winners for their hard work and dedication supporting their communities.
Charities, social enterprises and their volunteers are the beating heart of our communities. In these challenging times, they have stepped up their response and been vital to the national effort, for which we are all grateful.
Bob Chapman, Secretary to the Trustees at Cymer Afan Community Library said:
It is fantastic to win this award in recognition of the contribution our volunteers make to our local community – we are all delighted! This is a significantly disadvantaged area and we all work tirelessly to give people opportunities that would otherwise not be available here.
The recipients of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service are announced every year on 2 June, the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation.
Any volunteer-led group comprising two or more people having a positive impact on the lives of others in an exceptional way can be nominated for an award. A group must satisfy the eligibility requirements before the nomination can be processed through to the assessment stages of the award. More details can be found on the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service website.
Nominations for the 2021 awards close on 25 September 2020.