A new Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Award for Volunteering has been introduced to shine a spotlight on charities working to empower young people.
The one-off addition to the annual Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) has been created in honour of the monarch’s 70 years on the throne.
Twenty winners will be selected from charities helping 16 to 25-year-olds in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland or across the whole of the UK.
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “Since The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service was set up 20 years ago to commemorate the Golden Jubilee, thousands of hard-working local volunteer groups across the UK have been recognised for benefitting their communities.
“We’re delighted to be extending our recognition this year to some outstanding national charities through this special Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Award for Volunteering.
“We want to celebrate the important work done by national charities to empower young people with the skills they need to develop and grow.
“This is a fitting way to recognise the 70 years of selfless service Her Majesty has given to this country.”
Sir Martyn Lewis, the QAVS chairman, said: “It’s a theme that’s important to all of us and is close to Her Majesty’s heart.”
The jubilee award is open for applications until June 17.
A judging panel has been set up with civil society sector experts and youth representatives including Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and chief executive of UK Youth Ndidi Okezie, and the winners will be announced in October.
The QAVS is the highest award given to small volunteer groups across the UK.