We have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
Bristol SU is one of 193 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. We are the only Students’ Union to receive the award: a testament to over sixty years of contributions to the Bristol community.
39% of students at Bristol gave time to volunteering this year, with over 100,000 hours being given in total. Students have volunteered on projects ranging from sustainability initiatives to work helping children with disabilities, young carers, adults with learning disabilities and isolated older people. These students are continuing the work of generations of Bristol students before them.
Bristol SU Chief Executive Samantha Budd said:
‘Students make such a valuable, and sometimes unrecognised, contribution to the city, not only after they have graduated, but also through the time they give to the community alongside their studies. Our students give vast amounts of time to projects in the city of Bristol and beyond and we are so pleased that this contribution has been recognised.’
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work in their communities. The awards were created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and winners are announced each year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.
Chief Executive Samantha Budd and Undergraduate Education Officer Max Austin attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace earlier this month where they were presented to HM the Queen and other winners of this year’s award. Bristol SU will receive the award from the Lord Lieutenant of Bristol at their Annual Welcome Fair on 23rd September.
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol, Professor Hugh Brady, said:
“Voluntary work is hugely helpful to society, and Bristol SU’s volunteers have done fantastic work in the city, helping a wide cross-section of people. This award is well-deserved, and I send all those involved my warmest congratulations.”
Undergraduate Education Officer, Max Austin said:
‘It is extremely rare for an organisation like a Students’ Union to receive an award like this - especially given the huge competition. It is testament to the quality of our students volunteering contributions in and around Bristol that they, through their Students’ Union, have been recognised this way. We are extremely proud of everything Bristol students continue to contribute towards the wider community.’
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Committee Chair, former broadcast journalist Sir Martyn Lewis said:
“I warmly congratulate all of the inspirational voluntary groups who have been rewarded for their community work with a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The judging panel for this year’s awards were struck by the quality and breadth of all the successful groups.
The thousands of volunteers who give up spare time to help others in their community and to help solve problems demonstrate the very best of democracy in action.”