YMCA England & Wales and YMCA Scotland have been announced as joint recipients of an official award celebrating the work done by charities to empower young people and volunteers, created in honour of Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee.
The Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Volunteering Award recognises 20 national charities in total working with young people to provide them with the confidence, skills and opportunities needed to thrive, with volunteers playing a key role throughout.
Applications were judged by a panel of voluntary sector experts, chaired by Sir Martyn Lewis CBE, with a list of final awardees then recommended to King Charles III. The panel focused on the scale and impact of each charity in its work with young people aged 16 to 25, and the extent to which volunteers are involved in delivering these outcomes.
Collectively, YMCA is the world’s oldest and largest youth organisation, which since its origin 178 years ago has worked not only to help those in need but to empower young people with lived experience who want to give back. Whether it’s sharing their story, engaging in social action locally or donating time through our charity shops, volunteers are the bedrock of what the YMCA does and stands for.
Denise Hatton, Chief Executive of YMCA England & Wales, said:
“We couldn’t be more honoured to have been selected as a recipient of such a special award in connection to our late Patron’s legacy. Alongside our colleagues at YMCA Scotland, we are fortunate enough to benefit from the dedication of almost 2,000 volunteers, who act as ambassadors for what we do every day.
“Young people and communities are at the heart of our services, and volunteering represents such a positive contribution to the kind of engagement that can make all the difference to people in need. This recognition truly is a tribute to them, and a symbol to all those who are thinking of dedicating their time to helping others.”
Kerry Reilly, Chief Executive of YMCA Scotland, said:
“The Late Queen exemplified a life of service and dedication to others. We are delighted that YMCA is to receive the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Volunteering Award, recognising the service and dedication of our volunteers who make a huge difference to the lives and wellbeing of young people facing challenging situations.”
Collectively, YMCA England & Wales and YMCA Scotland are made up of 111 member YMCAs working to ensure that young people have opportunities to thrive and contribute positively to their communities. These YMCAs operate in more than 700 different communities, impacting the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people every year.