The King's Award for Voluntary Service
The King’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK.
The King's Award for Voluntary Service (KAVS) is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work done in their communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation. It is the MBE for volunteer groups and is awarded for life.
Successful groups receive a crystal award and a certificate bearing His Majesty’s signature both presented by the Lord-Lieutenant and are able to use the KAVS emblem.
They are also invited to nominate two volunteers to attend a Royal Garden Party the following year.
What makes a successful nomination:
- volunteer-led: the volunteers are in the driving seat, setting the direction for the group’s work and spotting opportunities to develop it still further each year
- making a considerable difference locally: the initiative of this group and the efforts of its volunteers have changed the situation dramatically for its beneficiaries
- exceptional compared with comparable groups: this group is likely to be one of the best of its kind in the UK
- well-run: there are high standards of governance, financial management, safeguarding etc.
- outstanding reputation locally: The group has a high standing in the community and has an excellent reputation with beneficiaries, service providers and council officials (if appropriate)
The group must:
- be made up of three or more people
- be based in the UK, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man
- have been in operation for at least three years before nomination
- have over half its volunteers eligible to reside in the UK
- be led by volunteers, not by paid staff; over half its members should be volunteers
- provide a specific and direct benefit to the local community
The group must not:
- have been nominated for a Queens Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS)/ KAVS award in the past 3 years
- have already received a QAVS/ KAVS award
- operate as a national organisation, as KAVS is aimed at local volunteer groups
- have fundraising or grant-making as its primary focus
- be based within or in support of a public service, unless they have a separate identity from the public service organisation
- operate solely for the benefit of animals, unless it can demonstrate that its work provides significant other benefits to the local community (for example, therapy pets)