3rdCB Honoured with Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

Queen's Award for Voluntary Service | The MBE for Volunteer Groups3rd Chalkwell Bay Sea Scouts in Old Leigh have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK, and equivalent to the MBE for voluntary organisations.

We are one of 230 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations remains high year on year, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.

The Group’s headquarters, The Den, on the waterfront in Old Leigh

3rd Chalkwell Bay have been operating in Old Leigh since 1931, and we are now one of the largest Scout groups in the area, offering challenge and adventure to over 250 young people aged 6-25 throughout the year, supported by a team of over 100 adult volunteers and Explorer Scout Young Leaders. The Group helps young people fulfil their potential by working in teams, learning by doing and thinking for themselves. A typical week could involve cooking challenges, team building wide games at Two Tree Island, or a visit to the fire station to find out more about the community; at the weekends the Scouts can be found learning to work together whilst camping, or building confidence and self-reliance though learning to sail on the Group’s fleet of boats in Old Leigh. All of this is made possible by the dedicated team of leaders, instructors and supporters who are honoured with this award.

The whole Group at summer camp in July 2019

Despite the challenges of COVID-19 and the pause on face-to-face Scouting, we’re following in our Founder’s spirit of innovation and managing to carry on our activities online, pressing on with challenges and learning new skills for life every week. We’ve held online meetings, virtual quiz nights, completed badges at home, camped out in the back garden or made dens at home, renewed our promise on the internet, and come together for video projects that have started national trends! All thanks to a fantastic and imaginative bunch of young people and adults who make 3rdCB one of the best Scout Groups to be a part of!

Leaders from the Group will receive the award from the Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst, later this summer. In addition, two leaders have been invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2021 with Her Majesty The Queen, to honour recipients of the award.

Leaders honour former Scout Leader Ian Johnson MBE, at his memorial service in May 2019

Group Scout Leader Daniel Parsons says: “This is fantastic recognition for the 100+ volunteer leaders, instructors, fundraisers, Explorer Scout Young Leaders and supporters at 3rd Chalkwell Bay. The team comes from all walks of life, but what they have in common is their dedication as they run new activities and teach new skills to the young people of our town every single week. The timing of the award coinciding with Volunteers’ Week couldn’t be more appropriate.”

About The Queen’s Award For Voluntary Service

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Recipients are announced each year on 2nd June, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse. They include volunteer groups from across the UK, including a community shop in Cornwall, an environmental group in Swansea, a group working with refugees and vulnerable people in Stirling and a thriving community arts centre in County Down.

This year there were 230 recipients of The Queen’s Award Voluntary Service from across the UK. More information on the recipients and the Award can be found at gov.uk/queens-award-for-voluntary-service.

Any group of two or more people that has participated in voluntary work for more than three years can be nominated for the award. Full details on how to nominate are available at qavs.culture.gov.uk.