King’s Award for Voluntary Service ceremony

4th June 2024

Pauline Simpson and Alison Inglis-Jones, both volunteers at the Norwood & Brixton Foodbank went to the Tower of London on 12th April to collect The King’s Award for Voluntary Service (KAVS), previously known as The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, given to the Foodbank. They received, on behalf of volunteers, a certificate signed by the King and a domed glass crystal.

Other volunteers, including the Chair of Trustees, Tim Boyce, went to a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May as part of the award.

The KAVS annual award is given to groups in the voluntary sector of the United Kingdom. The Foodbank’s win was announced on 14th November 2023 to coincide with the birthday of Charles III.  The award is the equivalent to an MBE and is the highest award that can be given to a voluntary group.

The award was announced by Elizabeth II on 30 April 2002, in celebration of her Golden Jubilee and the first awards were made in 2003.  In February 2023 it was announced by the King that he wished to continue his mother’s legacy by giving his name to the awards. 

Pauline and Alison were one of a small group of volunteers collecting the KAVS while a larger group of about 60 people collected British Empire Medals and Order of the British Empire Awards. The stories of all were inspirational and moving. The recipients were community volunteers, experts in their fields and founders of charities. Each recipient, including our Foodbank, had a bit read out about them and then a chat with the Lord Lieutenant. The Chair of the Awards Committee came and spoke to Pauline and Alison and said that many foodbanks had been put forward but Norwood & Brixton Foodbank was truly outstanding and therefore had received the award.

This week, National Volunteers Week, is a good week to flag all the amazing work carried out by our volunteers. Trustee Alison said “The Foodbank would not have received the KAVS without the support, involvement, hard work and commitment from all the volunteers.  It is truly amazing to be a trustee of such a wonderful charity and I am always proud to be able to flag the fact that we could not exist without the work put in by people who love our community and serve those in crisis in Lambeth and Croydon.”

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