Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort have rewarded hundreds of the nation’s most extraordinary volunteers as part of the official Coronation celebrations in conjunction with Royal Voluntary Service.
500 incredible volunteers have been recognised for their contributions and crowned Coronation Champions. This follows a call out to the nation to nominate their volunteer heroes. Almost 5,000 entries were received, with nominations made for individuals aged 14 up to 103.
With the support of Her Majesty The Queen Consort, a passionate advocate of volunteering and President of Royal Voluntary Service, the Coronation Champions Awards were launched to recognise exceptional volunteers from across the country at this momentous point in history. The 500 Champions dazzled the judging panel with the impact of their work, their inspirational stories and unwavering commitment to volunteering.
Coronation Champions include Georgia McAllister from Falkirk, a stroke survivor, who has overcome many challenges and now, as a Royal Voluntary Service volunteer, uses her own experience to support, inspire and give hope to fellow stroke survivors.
In Manchester, Coronation Champion Margaret Edet has been awarded for her work with Family Unit Trust, a charity committed to raising awareness of cancer in Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, and supporting families impacted by cancer. Margaret became an advocate for the early detection of cancer after her family was impacted by the devastating disease.
The awards also sought to celebrate the next generation of volunteers, and the rising stars of volunteering aged 14-18, have been recognised as ‘Young Coronation Champions’. This includes 17 year-old Conor Warren from Ilfracombe in Devon who founded Spark UK at just 14 years old.
Under the leadership of Conor, the volunteer-led mental health CIC helps ‘spark’ conversations amongst teenagers around mental health. In the past three years, the Spark UK team of six volunteers (all aged 14-18) have reached thousands of students across the country and hundreds of schools have signed up to use their resources and lesson plans.
All 500 of the volunteers selected as the nation’s Coronation Champions will now be invited to attend one of the official Coronation celebrations, such as the Windsor Castle Coronation Concert or a Coronation Garden Party. They will also receive a specially designed, official Coronation Champions pin and a certificate signed by Their Majesties.
“It feels amazing to receive a Coronation Champions Award. I’ve been volunteering for over three years and I absolutely love it. I started volunteering because I wanted to help as many people in my local community as I could and make a difference. My role involves creating resources to support thousands of young people across the country and openly advocating for more mental health awareness.
“Spark UK is so valuable to the community because it provides a way for young people to make a difference in a whole range of ways and use their voice for positive change. Volunteering is such a positive thing to do and has been great for my confidence and helped me develop a range of transferrable life skills. I’d really recommend it to any young person.”
Young Coronation Champion, Conor Warren
The Coronation Champions Awards invited people across the UK to nominate their local volunteering heroes who are going the extra mile. Nominations were made across eight award categories; supporting older people; supporting young people and children; crisis and welfare; community; sports, culture, and heritage; health and care; sustainability and the environment; and animal welfare.
“We were completely blown away by the response to the Coronation Champions Awards and the huge volume of amazing nominees put forward. Our judges had a tough job selecting just 500 Champions from an array of thousands of inspirational individuals, who all deserve to be recognised and commended.
“Each of our Coronation Champions displayed a commitment and contribution that far exceeds any expectation and we’re overjoyed to honour and thank them during this exciting point in history.”
Catherine Johnstone CBE, Chief Executive of Royal Voluntary Service
As well as receiving the Royal stamp of approval, the awards are backed by a star-studded list of ambassadors and supporters.
“I would like to offer each and every Coronation Champions volunteer my warmest congratulations on this incredibly well-deserved award. I hope that they feel the utmost pride for all that they do to help our communities thrive. I for one am incredibly grateful to them.”
Dame Judi Dench, Coronation Champions Awards supporter
“The Coronation Champions Awards have been wonderful; it has been so lovely to hear the stories of incredible volunteers across the UK. Congratulations to all the award recipients, your compassion, generosity, and selflessness is so inspiring.”
Elaine Paige OBE, Coronation Champions Awards Ambassador
“A huge congratulations to the Coronation Champions Award recipients, hearing the stories of volunteers has touched my heart and I want to say a huge thank you to all the lovely volunteers who give their time to helping others across the country, every day.”
Nadiya Hussain MBE, Coronation Champions Awards Ambassador
Royal Voluntary Service is immensely grateful for the generous support of brand partners Simplyhealth, for supporting the Health and Care category, Sky through its Sky Cares programme, for supporting the Community category and Petplan, for supporting the Animal Welfare category.
Those feeling inspired to try volunteering themselves are encouraged to take part in The Big Help Out on Monday 8 May. The Big Help Out is another official Coronation project, aiming to encourage newcomers to volunteering, bring communities together and create a lasting volunteering legacy from the Coronation weekend.
For further information
Royal Voluntary Service is one of Britain’s largest volunteering charities with volunteers supporting the NHS and thousands of vulnerable people in the community. The charity delivers the Volunteer Responders programme for NHS England, enabled by the GoodSAM app, with volunteers responding to over 2.2 million requests for help and supporting with over 300,000 shifts at vaccination sites.
The charity also works in local communities running home libraries, companionship support, Home from Hospital services and patient transport. Our Virtual Village Hall provides online activities and classes to promote wellbeing and keep people active.