Queen's Awards

Bedfordshire winners of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2019

2 June 2019

Buckingham Palace has today announced The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service winners for 2019 and HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis, is delighted that five voluntary organisations in Bedfordshire have been recognised.

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.  Winners are announced each year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. It is the MBE for volunteer groups.

Nationally, 281 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups have received the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations and awards 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 following Bedfordshire organisations have been successful:

Bedfordshire Festival of Music, Speech and Drama provides a showcase for the wealth of talent in the amateur performing arts in Bedfordshire and the surrounding area. The Festival offers a wide range of classes for all ages covering most musical genres including Classical, Musical Theatre, Jazz and Asian music, as well as many varied Speech and Drama classes including Verse Speaking, Acting, Mime and Improvisation. Founded in 1921, the Festival is affiliated to the British & International Federation off Festivals of which HM The Queen is a Patron. The Bedfordshire Festival of Music, Speech and Drama is a charity and is run by a committee of volunteers.

FACES Bedford (Family and Children’s Early-help Service) is a local independent charity that supports local children and families faced with difficult issues such as mental and physical health, domestic abuse, poverty, child sexual exploitation and behavioural issues via a range of quality-tested services and family support groups, many led by the team of dedicated volunteers. They do this by recruiting and training volunteers who work alongside one a Practitioner in delivering a unique menu of tailored services directly to a family, in their own home. 

Flitwick Scout Group – the Scouting Association is a large international movement that started in 1907 and currently in the United Kingdom has over 450,000 members aged between 6 and 25. Flitwick Scout Group (FSG) started in the third year of that movement in 1910 and now 108 years later offers Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers sections to the age of 18 that is open to both boys and girls. Flitwick Scout Group has always been and remains entirely volunteer led and with the support from the dedicated volunteers, Flitwick Scout Group have helped local children and young adults reach their full potential by developing skills including teamwork, time management, leadership, initiative, planning, communication, self-motivation, cultural awareness and commitment. All this support tends to lead to young people to getting jobs, saving lives and even changing the world.

Signpost “Team SP” is a project that was founded in 2010 with the aim to challenge the stereotypes surrounding homelessness by ensuring that people who lived at Signposts were able to contribute within their local communities. The project has grown year on year, underpinned by the belief that communities work better in partnership. Team SP deliver thousands of volunteer hours, build relationships and volunteers get to know each other better as they work together to create a great community. Team SP regularly marshals at local festivals and big events in Bedfordshire and organises litter picks supporting environmental projects which benefit green spaces.

The Woburn Sands Band provides opportunities for musical performance and the appreciation and enjoyment of music through public performances within Bedfordshire and beyond whilst concurrently providing and promoting musical education for people of all ages, but especially for young, new and developing musicians. Established in 1885, Woburn Sands Band is entirely volunteer led. The Band own 250 different instruments that are loaned out to individuals free of charge and all tuition offered is free. They currently operate five bands including a youth and junior band. The band is all encompassing welcoming all ages and abilities, including those with learning difficulties. The membership profile currently ranges from 7 to 82 years of age.

HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis said "Once again it is a genuine pleasure to hear that HM The Queen has recognised the fantastic voluntary work that is a fundamental part of life in Bedfordshire The Queens Award for Voluntary Service is a major recognition of the outstanding work and extraordinary contribution these organisations and volunteers make in our community . I offer them all my sincere congratulations and thanks and I look forward to meeting them this year to present their awards".

To nominate a group or find out more, please visit the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service website.