Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire, has said that too many dedicated volunteers in Buckinghamshire are going unappreciated.
With just one successful nomination for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) last year and none this year, Sir Henry says voluntary organisations in the county are just not getting the recognition they deserve from Her Majesty.
‘We have a great tradition of voluntary service in Buckinghamshire,‘ said Sir Henry, the Monarch’s representative in the county. ‘I’ve met a huge number of committed volunteers without whom life in the county would be very much the poorer.
I can only deduce from the absence of nominations that our dedicated volunteers are too busy getting on with the job! So I’m asking Buckinghamshire to bring them out so that we have an opportunity to honour them.‘
Last year the Chesham charity WORKAID was the only Buckinghamshire volunteer organisation to receive the QAVS.
Their volunteers, who refurbish tools and equipment for vocational training projects in Africa enabling vulnerable and disadvantaged people to learn and improve skills, were recognised for their outstanding work in the community.
In previous years Buckingham Citizens’ Advice Bureau and Wycombe Homeless Connection have been presented with the QAVS.
CAB’s Chief Officer Ian Payne said: ‘It was an amazing boost. Our volunteers gained an immense amount of pride and pleasure in receiving the award, all the more so because it was seen as a team award. Without doubt it made it easier to recruit volunteers.‘
Dr Sheena Dykes, Chairman of Wycombe Homeless Connection trustees, said the award made their 400 tirelessly-serving volunteers feel greatly appreciated. ‘The award helped us to demonstrate the quality of our work,‘ she said.
Sir Henry said that with more than 60,000 volunteers, and nearly 4,000 voluntary and community organisations, Buckinghamshire had a healthy culture of service to the community.
‘To see just a handful of nominations in the past few years is not doing justice to that culture of service, which we want to celebrate and encourage,‘ said Sir Henry.
Nominations for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service can be made at www.gov.uk/queens-award-for-voluntary-service.