Previous winners of Queen's Awards

Bedfordshire winners of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2015

The prestigious Queen's Award for Voluntary Service 2015 has honoured 3 outstanding Bedfordshire volunteering groups.

This unique UK national honour, the highest for groups of volunteers, was created over a decade ago by Her Majesty The Queen to recognise the outstanding contributions that volunteers make to their local communities. It has an equivalent status for voluntary groups as the MBE has for individuals.

This year’s award recipients were selected from over 300 groups. The groups were nominated by members of the public who have seen the difference the volunteers have made to the lives of others, or witnessed the benefits of a group’s work in their community. Special presentations will be held for each group later this year.

The successful Bedfordshire groups are:

Bedford and District Handicapped Riders Association (link opens in new window): the group is entirely volunteer-led, and has been running for over 50 years helping vulnerable, disadvantaged children and young adults to benefit from the advantages that riding gives. Its ability to progress and support more young people is outstanding. The benefit to young people's health and wellbeing is immeasurable.
8 July 2015: The Lord-Lieutenant presents the QAVS to Bedford and District Handicapped Riders’ Association (link opens in new window)
Press release - QAVS presentation to Bedford and District Handicapped Riders Association (PDF 233KB)

The Airfield Volunteer Fire Service (link opens in new window). AVFS' mission is:

  • to provide an emergency service comprising fire appliances, equipment and fully-qualified personnel
  • to promote fire, personal and airfield safety
  • to provide and maintain an emergency fire and rescue service for the benefit of the public. Its excellence depends upon team work and dedication to duty

Further information is available in the Press Release (PDF 216.2KB)

(PDF 216.2KB)

The Forest of Marston Vale Volunteers ('Forest Volunteers') (link opens in new window): the volunteers make creating Bedfordshire's Community Forest possible. Volunteers lead on a huge range of activities including practical conservation tasks, public events for adults and children, and fundraising. Impressively, the time the volunteers give doubles the charity's available resource, but it is their boundless enthusiasm that really makes them excel.

HM Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis said: ”The news that this year, 3 Bedfordshire volunteer groups have been honoured in this very special way by Her Majesty the Queen is a tremendous illustration of the wonderful service given by so many volunteers in our different communities. Bedfordshire is a very special, vibrant place where volunteer groups are encouraged, supported and able to flourish, and we are thrilled that Bedfordshire Volunteers have been recognised again in 2015.