Citizen’s Advice Southend have been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
Citizen’s Advice Southend provide free, confidential and impartial advice to a wide range of people many of whom live in deprived areas.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services (QAVS) aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate The Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Recipients are announced each year on 2 June, the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation.
Rizwana Awan, Chief Executive Officer of Southend Citizens Advice said: "This is such an honour and privilege for all of our volunteers to be recognised by the award of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services for the work they do relentlessly and dedicated their time to Citizens Advice Southend during, firstly this challenging period of the pandemic and secondly always showing compassion towards the clients and the community of Southend. Without them we would not be able to do the work and be in the position that we are in today. I thank each and every volunteer who works for us and the work they do for all organisations within Southend."
Representatives of the group receive the QAVS Award Crystal and a QAVS Certificate signed by Her Majesty the Queen from Her Majesty’s representative in the County, the Lord Lieutenant at a local ceremony. Two volunteers from the group are invited to attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2022 (depending on restrictions at the time), along with other recipients of this award.
Citizens Advice Southend are amongst 241 charities, social enterprises, and volunteer-led groups to receive the prestigious award this year across the UK. The number of nominations remains high year on year showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.
Cllr Ian Gilbert, Leader of the Council, said: “I would like to congratulate Citizens Advice Southend and all of their volunteers for this much deserved achievement. It’s all the more special as it recognises the dedication and compassion shown during such a challenging period of the pandemic.”
Citizens Advice Southend will receive the Award from Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst, Lord Lieutenant of Essex, later this year subject to the Covid restrictions at the time.