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The nominator eligibility criteria

The group cannot nominate themselves, they must be nominated by someone else.

The nominator must not:

  • be a volunteer, employee or trustee of the group, or in any way involved with the running of the organisation

The nominator must:

  • be a member of the public with a good knowledge of the group’s work (such as a beneficiary or long-term supporter)
  • be able to supply two separate letters of support from two additional people who know the group well

We need to ensure that nominators are independent. Nominations from email addresses connected to the group itself will not be considered.

The group eligibility criteria

QAVS awards are intended for groups that are led by volunteers and that provide benefit for local communities.

The group must:

  • be made up of three or more people
  • be based in the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man
  • have been in operation for at least three years
  • have over half its volunteers eligible to reside in the UK
  • be led by volunteers, not by paid staff (we would normally expect at least half the group’s members to be volunteers)
  • provide a specific and direct local benefit

Specific and direct local benefit

Groups must provide direct benefits to a community through their work. Groups will be considered ineligible where their sole purpose is to support one or more other groups that provide direct benefits. Examples include:

  • fundraising
  • providing grants or other resources

The group must not:

  • have been nominated unsuccessfully for a QAVS award in the past 3 years
  • have already received a QAVS award
  • operate solely for the benefit of animals (unless it can demonstrate that its work provides significant other benefits to the local community)

QAVS awards are not intended for national organisations. A national group that has local branches would not itself be suitable. However, one of its branches can be nominated.

National organisations

A group can be nominated if it is a branch of, or affiliated to, a larger regional or national organisation. However, it will be expected to have initiated and developed a distinctive approach locally and be able to show a high degree of autonomy and self-determination.

Groups based within or in support of public service are eligible if they have a separate identity from the public service organisation.

Groups supporting a public service

Groups based within or in support of a public service (such as a hospital, police force or school) are eligible, but you will need to be able to demonstrate that:

  • the group has a separate identity from the statutory organisation and is clearly under the leadership of volunteers, rather than simply following instructions from paid staff in the organisation
  • the group is an established, long-term volunteer group with its own unique identity and a governance structure, rather than being part of a wider scheme or a school-led volunteering initiative