The Queen has launched the Coronation Champions Award for volunteers to celebrate the Coronation in May.
The Awards, in collaboration with the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS), will recognise the ‘exceptional volunteers’ from across the country ahead of the historic event, and seeks to ‘celebrate and inspire the next generation’ of volunteers.
Camilla is President of the RVS.
Launching the Awards on 21st February, Her Majesty said: ‘I am delighted to be launching the Coronation Champions Awards with the Royal Voluntary Service, to shine a light on the herculean efforts of our nation’s volunteers. Up and down the country, millions of unsung heroes are contributing to their local communities, giving generously of their time and their talents to enhance the lives of others.
‘If you know a volunteer who is making a difference, please be sure to share their story. We would love to hear about them!’
A total of 500 volunteers will be chosen as the nation’s Coronation Champions and will receive a specially designed, official Coronation Champions pin and a certificate signed by The Queen. All 500 Coronation Champions will also be invited to attend one of the official coronation celebrations, such as the Windsor Castle Coronation Concert or a Coronation Garden Party.
The notion of volunteering is playing a huge part in the coronation celebrations, with Monday 8th May being called The Big Help Out, which will encourage people to try volunteering for themselves and join the work being undertaken to support their local areas. It will additionally pay tribute to His Majesty’s life of public service.
Catherine Johnstone CBE, Chief Executive of Royal Voluntary Service said: ‘Royal Voluntary Service volunteers are amongst the millions of big-hearted people who are doing incredible work in their communities, every single day.
‘Together with Her Majesty The Queen Consort we are honouring those remarkable volunteers from all backgrounds, from all over the UK, and from a range of causes, who have made a real difference in recent years. I know from experience that volunteers don’t do what they do for praise or glory, but I also know that they absolutely deserve it.
‘The Coronation is the perfect time for us to come together and really show volunteers just how much we appreciate everything they do for our health and happiness. Be sure to nominate your local heroes, as these awards are a wonderfully exciting opportunity for deserving volunteers to be commended and be part of history in the making.’
The Awards are also being supported by a number of famous faces, including actresses Dame Judi Dench and Elaine Paige OBE, and baker Nadiya Hussain.
In a statement, Judi Dench explained that the awards are a tribute to Charles and Camilla’s own work in support of the public good. ‘I have seen how the power of volunteering can be invaluable and far-reaching,’ she said. ‘The Coronation Champions Awards are not only a fitting tribute to Their Majesties’ own public service, but they are also a superb opportunity to pause and show our appreciation for the people who are achieving marvellous things through volunteering.’
The then-Duchess of Cornwall launched a similar initiative last year to celebrate the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, together with the Royal Voluntary Service and in partnership with The Big Jubilee Lunch.
Nominations for the Coronation Champions Award can be submitted here. Nominations are open to those aged 14 and over and the judges are also looking for ‘Young Coronation Champions’ (aged 14-18).