SSAFA Perth and Kinross recognised with the Queen's Award for voluntary service 2018

A voluntary group from Perth and Kinross, who work with Armed Forces veterans in the community, has been honoured with the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service, the MBE for voluntary groups in the UK.

SSAFA Perth and Kinross is one of 250 volunteer-led groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of awarded groups has increased again, demonstrating the continuous expansion and value of the voluntary sector in today's society. 

This is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK to recognise exceptional service within their communities. The recipients of the award are announced each year on 2 June - the anniversary of the Queen's Coronation.  This year there were 250 awardees of The Queen's Award Voluntary Service from across the UK. More information on the winners can be found at the London Gazette website.

SSAFA Perth and Kinross will receive the award from the Lord Lieutenant, Brigadier Mel Jameson CBE, later this summer. He will present the Branch with a certificate, signed by The Queen, and a commemorative crystal at a local ceremony. They will be entitled, as of now, to use The Queen's Award emblem on their website, stationery and other printed material.

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." 

Nominations for the 2019 awards close on 14 September 2018 and should be made online

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." 

Perth and Kinross Lord Lieutenant, Brigadier Mel Jameson said: 

"I could not be more proud of the local SSAFA team, and I send them all my very sincere congratulations and very warm thanks for all they do. As an ex Serviceman myself, I know full well what challenges the leaving serviceman and his family face once discharged , especially for many, sadly, on the mental health side. I know too the wonderful work the Branch does in the 2 Prisons in our area, and commend them for that. Well done one and all. This is truly a wonderful day for the team. I know too our Provost will be equally thrilled. It reflects well on the whole of Perth and Kinross that we have such people as these volunteers in our Community, prepared to go the extra mile for clients and their families."

Provost of Perth and Kinross, Dennis Melloy said: "This is wonderful news - I am absolutely delighted that this incredibly worthwhile Association has been recognised at this level. The work they do and the difference they make to the lives of our Armed Forces veterans cannot be underestimated.  It comes as no surprise to me as their commitment and can do attitude is an example to us all and I am very proud to have witnessed this achievement.  My most sincere, heartfelt congratulations go out to everyone at SSAFA Perth and Kinross. This is indeed an accolade to cherish."

Previous Branch Chairman Andy Middlemiss said: 

"We could not be more proud, honoured and thrilled to be recognised by Her Majesty in this way- for our small team of volunteers, this is a very well deserved reward for their hundreds of hours of work with veterans in our Community. It is very humbling indeed. We love doing what we do, and ask for no reward of course, but to get Royal recognition is amazing. We'd like to pay tribute to the other 91 SSAFA Branches in UK- from North to South, West to East, for their work, and for the work of our full time staff in London, who give us the necessary back up to do what we do. Our Royal President Prince Michael of Kent is a tireless supporter, but Her Majesty, with her close services connections, is a Patron for us to be incredibly proud of and grateful to - how could she do more for this country? SSAFA-QAVS...it sounds wonderful!"