Diamond Champions - join WRVS in the search for UK's unsung volunteer heroes
To celebrate the Diamond Jubilee, WRVS is on the hunt for "Diamond Champions" - people over 60 who volunteer in their local communities or show extraordinary effort in making a difference to other people's lives. This is an official Diamond Jubilee project and 80 volunteers from around the UK will be invited to meet Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, who are Patrons of Diamond Champions, at an event in November.
These awards are about recognising older people (60+) who make a difference to their local community by giving it up their time for others - so it could be a volunteer who helps with a reader's dyslexic child or someone who provides support and friendship to their lonely parent. All volunteers are eligible - they can be volunteering for any organisation or volunteering more informally.
Sixty entries will be shortlisted for each region by a judging panel and 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. Regional judging panels will select 10 people to join 70 others at a royal residence to meet Their Royal Highnesses in the autumn.
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall sent this 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."
Thanks for this - have just sent the link off to some people who are fabulous Over-60s volunteers! Sadly I can't nominate my wonderful grandmother who is still volunteering at 73, but I am going to mention it to others and see if they will nominate her!
One thing though - they might be 'just like Her Majesty The Queen: over 80 and still giving their time.' ... is the Queen really 'giving her time'?! Is it not just part of her job and role ......? Just a small thing :-)
She's been volunteering for years and years - she set up and ran two youth marching bands in Suffolk throughout my childhood, and until recently she was on the committee of a day centre for adults with Learning Difficulties. She also helps a charity fundraising for an orphanage in Ethiopia (including helping out with the setting up of a fundraising festival for it last year!). She still goes round and decorates houses for elderly people who don't have the ability to do so themselves (yep, she's still hanging wallpaper at 73!). I'm very proud of her!
blimey, an amazing list! Definitely a worthy Diamond Champion nominee - doubt you'll have any trouble getting someone to nominate her...!