National awards can be given to individuals, groups of volunteers or businesses. Petitions and media campaigns can raise profiles and even demand awards but they actually won’t be awarded unless someone nominates them first. Nominations are straighforward and anyone can nominate.That someone can be you.
UK Honours consist of several Orders and Gallantary Awards. The most common honours are within the Order of the British Empire (BEM, MBE, CBE etc.) and are ordinarily awarded at New Year and on Her Majesty The Queen’s oficial Birthday. They are given to individuals only.The honours system recognises people who have:
- made achievements in public life or
- committed themselves to serving and helping Britain
They’ll usually have made life better for other people or be outstanding at what they do but they must still be actively involved in what you’re nominating them for.
An independant committee decides whether someone receives an honour and also what honour they receive so you don’t need to worry about about understanding or identifying the different types of honour, you just need to provide evidence of the work the person has done. You don’t need to wait until someone has done a lifetime of work to nominate them; usually 3-5 years will suffice and they can be awarded higher awards if the impact of their work then widens or grows. You just re-nominate them to have their award uplifted.
It is a rolling nomination system so there are no deadlines for submission. The nomination procedure is confidential i.e. the person you are nominating must not know that they are being or have been nominated. This doesn’t mean however that you can’t get others to help you.Further information, guidance and how to nominate can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/honours
Queens Award for Voluntary Service
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK.
Any group of 2 or more people doing volunteering work can be nominated for the award. The majority of the group must be volunteers, and more than half the volunteers must have the right to live in the UK.
To be nominated they should have been doing outstanding work for at least 3 years that:
- provides a service and meets a need for people living in the local community
- is supported, recognised and respected by the local community and the people who benefit from it
- is run locally
The nomination process usually runs between April and September and if successful they will be awarded the following year. Anyone who is independant from the group can nominate and it is an on-line process only. An independant committee decides whether a group receives an award but part of the assessment process is done locally and so the group need to know that you are nominating them and need to be happy to receive the award if successful. They can help and provide you with the information needed to complete the nomination.
Further information, guidance and how to nominate can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/queens-award-for-voluntary-service
Queen’s Award for Enterprise
The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are for outstanding achievement by UK businesses in the categories of:
- international trade
- sustainable development
- promoting opportunity through social mobility
Businesses can nominate themselves for the award and the award lasts for 5 years. Your organisation must:
- be based in the UK (including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man)
- file its Company Tax Returns with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
- be a self-contained enterprise that markets its own products or services and is under its own management
- have at least 2 full-time UK employees or part-time equivalents
- demonstrate strong corporate social responsibility
Your organisation can be a business or non-profit. Each of the award categories has additional entry criteria.
The nomination process usually runs between May and September and if successful your business will be awarded the following year.
Further information, guidance, additional eligibility and how to nominate can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/queens-awards-for-enterprise
Don’t leave it to chance that someone else will nominate. The main reason that people, volunteer groups and businesses don’t get recognised is simply that no-one nominates them. Do the Honours!