Pride in London has today been awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) 2018. The award, created by The Queen in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of her coronation, recognises excellence in voluntary activities carried out by groups in the community.
As the UK’s largest LGBT+ pride group, Pride in London has recruited nearly 5,000 volunteers in recent years from a range of different and diverse backgrounds. Around 1,000 volunteers are needed each year on the Parade day alone, which this year takes place on Saturday 7th July. 900 new volunteers have signed up for Pride in London since the beginning of 2018.
Started round a kitchen table after the collapse of the previous Pride organisation in 2012, the not-for-profit community interest group is now almost entirely run by volunteers, both the thousands who help out on the Parade day and the 150-strong team who volunteer all year round. Any surplus funds raised are used to support the LGBTQ+ community and improve the event.
Abby Chicken, Acting Director of Volunteering for Pride in London, comments: “This award is a tremendous achievement and recognition for all of our hard-working and dedicated volunteers, without whom we wouldn’t be able to deliver what has become a world-class Pride. From Pride’s Got Talent through to our annual Parade and city-wide Festival, everything we do is to give LGBT+ people a platform and to support the wider community.
“Volunteering for Pride in London has been a wonderful, eye-opening experience and has given me the opportunity to make new friends as well as see why Pride Matters. Whether you are LGBT+ or an ally, I would wholeheartedly recommend getting involved.”
Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport and Civil Society, said: “Everyone who has received this award should be incredibly proud. Their service, commitment and care has a profoundly positive impact on communities throughout the country and I am delighted they have been recognised with this prestigious award.
“The record number of recipients this year is testament to the strength of the voluntary sector and I am sure this trend will continue into the future. If you know any organisations that deserve to be recognised, make your voice heard and nominate them for next year.”
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Independent Committee Chair, former broadcast journalist Sir Martyn Lewis said: "This year’s record number of Queen’s Award awardees are a powerful testimony to the remarkable achievements and innovative ideas which characterise volunteering in the UK. They prove that, more than ever, volunteers beavering away at grassroots level are the active lifeblood of our communities, identifying all kinds of problems and issues and tackling them with enthusiasm, talent and a high degree of success.
“The recipients of the Queen’s Award are at the very top of a formidable volunteering movement in the UK involving millions of our citizens, and going from strength to strength.”
For more information on how to volunteer at Pride in London, please visit prideinlondon.org/volunteer.