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Awards & Honours

Honours Awards

Anybody in the UK can make a recommendation for a British national to receive an honour as long as they are not a family member. The aim is to ensure that the large numbers of people who are not in the public eye who give valuable service are recognised. They could be charity volunteers, members of the emergency services or Armed Forces, industrial pioneers or specialists in various professions.

Honours are awarded on the advice of the Cabinet Office and for this reason, honours nominations are handled not by Buckingham Palace but by the Honours and Appointments Secretariat, which is part of the Cabinet Office.

In order to nominate someone, you should obtain a copy of the nominations form and read the guidance notes. These can be downloaded and printed from https://www.gov.uk/honours/overview. You can only nominate individuals for honours. You can nominate a volunteer group for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

If you nominate someone for an honour, the honours committee will review your nomination. You will get an acknowledgment - but you may not hear anything else for 12 to 18 months. All nominees will be checked by various government departments to make sure they are suitable for an honour.

If you do submit an Honours nomination for a person resident in Northamptonshire, it would be most helpful if you could let the Lord-Lieutenant know please.

British Empire Medals (BEM)

British Empire Medals are awarded to local volunteers who make a real difference to their communities. Awards are announced in either the New Year or Birthday Honours lists and recipients of BEMs will receive their medals from the Lord-Lieutenant in a ceremony at County Hall, Northampton. BEMs will also receive an invitation to a Royal Garden Party (if they have not attended one previously).

People can be nominated for BEMS using the form on the website: https://www.gov.uk/honours/overview.

Royal Garden Parties

Each year the Lord-Lieutenant is asked by the Lord Chamberlain to submit a list of names of those residing in his County whom he would recommend for invitation to Her Majesty’s Garden Parties at Buckingham Palace. It is The Queen’s wish that those invited should be drawn from as wide a range as possible and from those who have not previously attended one of Her Majesty’s Garden Parties. Each Lord-Lieutenant is given a quota by the Lord Chamberlain’s Office and Deputy Lieutenants are invited to submit names to the Lord-Lieutenant for consideration for inclusion in this quota.

Royal Garden Parties 2018 and 2019

Queen’s Awards for Enterprise

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise (QAE) are for outstanding achievement by UK businesses in the categories of:

  • innovation
  • international trade
  • sustainable development
  • promoting opportunity through social mobility

The award is is self-nominating award with an organisation completing its own forms and submitting them for appraisal. If successful, a representative of the organisation will be invited to a Royal reception at Buckingham Palace, hosted by Her Majesty The Queen and the organisation will be presented its award (a crystal bowl) by the Lord-Lieutenant, usually at their place of business in the County.

The awards are valid for 5 years and after this time, organisations can re-apply.

Recent recipients of a QAE within Northamptonshire are:

  • Blue Skies: 2015 for Sustainable Development
  • Cheaney Shoes: 2016 for International Trade
  • Red Arch Manufacturing: 2016 for International Trade
  • Metrosol: 2017 for Innovation
  • Brian James Trailers: 2018 for International Trade

Further details can be found at: www.gov.uk

Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Services (QAVS)

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK.

Any group of 2 or more people doing volunteering work can be nominated for the award. The majority of the group must be volunteers, and more than half the volunteers must have the right to live in the UK.

To be nominated they should do work that:

  • provides a service and meets a need for people living in the local community
  • is supported, recognised and respected by the local community and the people who benefit from it
  • is run locally.

Volunteer groups should have been running for 3 years or more to be nominated.

Nominees are considered for an award the year after they’re nominated. For 2019, the nomination deadline was early September 2019 for groups wishing to be considered for the 20202 awards. Applications need to be made on line and further details can be found at www.gov.uk.

The Lord-Lieutenant is then requested to submit his support for a nomination. The deadline for submission is usually end of January with the announcement of successful applications made in June.

The Lord-Lieutenant will present the voluntary organisation with their award at a ceremony arranged by the organisation. This should not be arranged until at least two months after the announcement is made to enable the award to be received by the Lieutenancy office.

Recently, CAFE (Creative Activities for the Elderly, 2016), DACT (Daventy Area Community Transport, 2017), Fynnius Fogg (2019) and The Lowdown (2019) received a QAVS.

Citizenship Ceremonies

You will be invited to book a place at a citizenship ceremony if your application to become a British Citizen is successful and you are over 18 years old. Citizenship ceremonies are organised by the local council and are usually carried out in groups at the Council Chamber in Northampton.

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