WRVS search for “Diamond Champions”

To celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, WRVS is calling for nominations from around the country for “Diamond Champions”, older people who volunteer in their local communities and go the extra mile to make a real difference to others’ lives.

VSThe Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall have agreed to be joint Patrons of the hunt for the Diamond Champions in recognition of the important and valuable role played by older people in communities throughout the UK.

Diamond Champion nominees must be over 60 and the aim is to find volunteers who make an extraordinary difference to their community by giving up their own time to help others.

Sixty entries will be shortlisted for each region by a judging panel.

All 480 shortlisted volunteers from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales will be presented with a specially designed Diamond Champions badge and certificate at a local celebration event.  From the shortlist, a regional judging panel will select 10 people from each region to join 70 others at a royal residence to meet Their Royal Highnesses, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall in the autumn.

David McCullough, chief executive of WRVS, comments: “WRVS volunteers are among thousands of volunteers around the country who do a wonderful, and often little-noticed, job in helping others in their community, whether that be delivering meals on wheels for older people, or helping out at Brownies. All these people are making a huge difference to others’ lives and we are very pleased to be able to celebrate their contribution through the Diamond Champions awards.

“We are delighted that HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall are supporting our awards to find these hidden gems in our society and celebrate the wonderful contribution that volunteers make. The Queen and the Royal Family are famous for their hard work and dedication to their public duty and volunteers show a similar loyalty and sense of duty to the people they serve.”

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall have supported the campaign with the following message: “We are both delighted to be Patrons of the WRVS’ national search for Diamond Champions. In this Diamond Jubilee year, we wanted to seek out and celebrate the contribution of the older generation who, often unsung and unnoticed, help to improve life for others in their communities. In supporting this Diamond Champions search, we hope that with your help we will be able to find those very special people who give so much to others and yet never ask for anything in return.  It is these people who, by their acts of kindness and selfless giving, make a real difference to those less fortunate and who are, we believe, a vital part of what makes the United Kingdom a civilized and caring society.  Of course modern life brings many challenges and difficulties, but neighbourliness, friendship and a helping hand in times of need cost nothing and yet are invaluable and timeless. We do hope you will send in your Diamond Champion nominations; you will be helping to highlight and celebrate their significant contribution to our society.  We both look forward to reading and hearing about your champions and to meeting at least some of them at a party later this year. ”

Diamond Champions

Your nomination must be someone over the age of 60 who volunteers. Nominate your Diamond Champion in the following ways:
1. Online at www.wrvs.org.uk
2. Via a nomination slip in participating newspapers
3. Sending a nomination in a stamped addressed envelope to: Diamond Champions, c/o WRVS, Beck Court, Cardiff Gate Business Park, Cardiff Gate, CF23 8RP

Nominations should be a maximum 300 words and include:

1. an explanation of the difference their volunteering work makes,
2. the amount of time they give to volunteering,
3.. a reason why you have nominated them,
4. any examples of ways they go the extra mile and
5. any examples you can give of ways they inspire others.

You could include other evidence such as:
• How they have developed or improved the service they offer
• How they have developed their own skills through volunteering