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The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service

The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service

18 Jun 2018

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK. We are really keen to encourage more nominations for Midlothian groups.


Any group of 2 or more people doing volunteering work can be nominated for the award. The majority of the group must be volunteers, and more than half the volunteers must have the right to live in the UK.

To be nominated they should do work that:

  • provides a service and meets a need for people living in the local community
  • is supported, recognised and respected by the local community and the people who benefit from it
  • is run locally

Volunteer groups should have been running for 3 years or more to be nominated.

What the winners get

Winners get a certificate signed by the Queen and a domed glass crystal. Representatives from the group may also be invited to attend a royal garden party.

How the winners are decided

Local assessment panels look at all the nominations and decide which ones to send to the National Award Committee.

The committee makes recommendations to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), which sends a final list to the Queen for her approval.

Winners are announced on 2 June in the London Gazette. 

How to make a nomination

You must nominate a group for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service online.

Nominees are considered for an award the year after they’re nominated.

Submit your nomination by midnight on 14 September 2018 to make sure your group is considered for the 2019 awards.

You must be independent of the group you’re nominating. Read the guidance notes before making your nomination.

Support for your nomination

When you nominate a group you also need letters from 2 people who support your nomination and are independent from the group you’re nominating - for example:

  • someone who benefits from the group’s work
  • someone who’s aware of the group’s work

The letters must include:

  • how the group helps the local community
  • how you know the group

Email if you need help with your nomination, or need to find out more about the award.

For more information, visit the website.


Volunteers' Week Awards Ceremony 2018

08 Jun 2018

We hosted our annual Volunteer Awards Ceremony, as part of Volunteers’ Week, on Thursday 7 June at Newbattle Abbey College. 

Over 40 nominations were received across a variety of categories and 11 awards were presented on the night. The evening is always an inspiring showcase of the variety of volunteering which takes place across Midlothian. We were lucky to be joined by Sir Robert Clerk, Lord Lieutenant of Midlothian, Provost Peter Smaill and of course our sponsors. 

The event would not be possible without the support of Newbattle Abbey College and the award sponsors: EDF Energy, Midlothian Council Communities Team, Midlothian Council Lifelong Learning and Employability, Midlothian Health & Social Care Partnership, Police Scotland, The Rotary Club of Esk Valley and the Scottish Qualifications Authority. Thank you also to the SQA for printing our programmes for the evening. 

2018 Award Winners

Outstanding New Volunteer Award

presented by Gael Belton & Connie Steele, Midlothian Council Lifelong Learning and Employability

Winner: Helen Boyle, Home Link Family Support

Befriender/Mentor of the Year Award

presented by Inspector Neil Mitchell & Constable Rona Duncan, Police Scotland

Winner: Kirsty Penny, Volunteer Midlothian

Active Volunteering Award

presented by Kate Goan & Ashleigh Dickson, EDF Energy

Winner: David Thornton, ROWAN Project, Health in Mind

Service to the Community Award

presented by Paul Johnson & Rona Duncan, Midlothian Council Communities Team

Winner: Beth Keay, Rosewell Development Trust

Health & Wellbeing Award

presented by Allister Short & Mairi Simpson, Midlothian Health & Social Care Partnership

Winner: Forward Mid Volunteers

Long Service to Volunteering Award

presented by Colin Wilson & Maurice Jackson, The Rotary Club of Esk Valley

Winner: Thomas Yuill, Dalkeith Thistle Community Football Club (unfortunately Thomas was unable to attend so his award was collected by representatives from Dalkeith Thistle)

Volunteer Manager of the Year Award

presented by Laura Gemmell, SQA

Winner: Paula Jackson, Volunteer Midlothian

Saltire Summit Awards

presented by Megan Kay, MSYP & Saltire Ambassador

Winners: Keiran Harvey, Ty Hennessey, Erin Laird, Keiran Lane & Natasha Thomas

Volunteer Team of the Year Award

presented by Sir Robert Clerk, Lord Lieutenant of Midlothian

Winner: Board of Grandparents Parenting Again and Kinship Carers Midlothian

Volunteer of the Year Award

presented by Provost Peter Smaill

Winner: Liz Byrne, Orchard Centre, Health in Mind

Volunteer Friendly Award

presented by Natalie Burnside, Volunteer Midlothian

Winner: Ageing Well Midlothian

Pictured below are all of our 2018 Award winners and sponsors.


Volunteers' Week 2018!

25 May 2018

Volunteers’ Week is an annual celebration of the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK – and it takes place from the 1-7 June each year. We actively encourage local organisations to acknowledge the hard work and commitment of their volunteers during Volunteers' Week. For more information and useful resources visit the Volunteers' Week website and the Volunteer Scotland website

What's on in Midlothian?
Monday 4 June

'The Big Thank You' event hosted by the Midlothian Volunteer Managers Forum at the National Mining Museum of Scotland.

Tuesday 5 June

Health in Mind are hosting a Volunteers' Week Celebration - volunteers will enjoy a walk through Dalkeith Country Park followed by a Get Together at the Secret Garden.

Thursday 7 June

Volunteer Midlothian are hosting their annual Volunteers' Week Awards Ceremony at Newbattle Abbey College.

Tuesday 12 June

Home Link Family Support are hosting a tapas & quiz night for their volunteers.

4 - 10 June

Green Week - Health in Mind are hosting Green Week which runs alongside Volunteers' Week. See poster below for details.

Volunteer Edinburgh launches Volunteer Wiki

18 May 2018

Volunteer Wiki, based on the Wikipedia platform, is a new tool to provide quality information on involving volunteers in a flexible and evolving way.

For many years Volunteer Edinburgh has made available a series of Good Practice Guides on volunteer involvement and management on their website. Initially working with colleagues at Volunteer Glasgow to update the guide content; they are now bringing them firmly into the digital age. Using the ‘wiki’ model gives great flexibility; articles contained within the wiki can be as short or as detailed as needed, links can be made between articles and downloadable resources have been included with more to follow.  

Paul Wilson, Chief Executive of Volunteer Edinburgh said: "This launch really is only the start. Our ambition is for this to build into the “go to” place for good advice on involving volunteers. While this is a Volunteer Edinburgh product our ambition is that it becomes much bigger than us.  To encourage maximum use by other agencies we have given it a unique URL to which people are welcome to link to from their own websites and we encourage contribution from other trusted sources."

If you would like to know more or would like to become a contributor please get in touch with Volunteer Edinburgh.

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