Gurjar Hindu Union (GHU) in West Sussex and Sri Guru Singh Sabha in Southall, have received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2021.
Each year, outstanding examples of this work are celebrated through the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS). Created in 2002 for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, QAVS awards have been shining a light on the fantastic work of voluntary groups for many years.
Equivalent to an MBE, QAVS are the highest awards given to local voluntary groups in the UK, and they are awarded for life.
The Gurjar Hindu Union, who is one of 241 volunteer groups to receive the award, serves the needs of the Indian community in Crawley, allowing its members to integrate effectively into society.
The group offers activities for children, young people and the elderly and provides skills training for its community as well as cultural and supportive services to the Hindu and wider community.
In an article published by the Crawley Observer, Ashwin Soni, trustee of Gurjar Hindu Union said: “This is like an MBE for a community group that has been going on since 1968.
“We have built a mega community centre in Ifield that cost £3.4million.
“What an achievement! I am jumping! I am so thrilled.
Sri Guru Singh Sabha, which is the largest Sikh institute outside of India, became another recipient of the QAVS.
On social media, the Gurdwara made the celebratory announcement by posting a video collage of some of the projects they have been working on and tweeted: “Sri Guru Singh Sabha Southall receives the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service! Thank you to all our Sevadars who do an incredible amount of voluntary work for our community.
Sri Guru Singh Sabha Southall receives the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service!
— Sri Guru Singh Sabha (@sgsssouthall) June 2, 2021
Furthermore, The Queen’s Award official account tweeted: “We realised that many of the groups receiving a QAVS this year would have been at the frontline of Covid-19 volunteering and wanted to say a special thank you.”
We realised that many of the groups receiving a QAVS this year would have been at the frontline of Covid-19 volunteering and wanted to say a special thank you 🌟https://t.co/m7tiIKt8Ut#QAVS2021 | #VolunteersWeek
— The Queen's Award (@QueensAwardVS) June 2, 2021
Together, the temples constitute two of 241 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year.
The number of nominations proliferate every year, demonstrating the voluntary sector is thriving, complete with innovative ideas to improve the lives of those around them.
The Award aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities.
To celebrate the outstanding work of other local volunteer groups across the UK and for the full list of QAVS recipients, please visit: https://qavs.dcms.gov.uk/