Third sector groups honoured with prestigious award

June 1, 2020

Two Southend-based charities who work in the community have been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services (QAVS), the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

The South Essex Community Hub and the 3rd Chalkwell Bay Sea Scouts Group are two of only nine charities, social enterprises and volunteer-led groups in Essex to have been recognised, amongst the 230 across the UK.

  • 3rd Chalkwell Bay Sea Scouts Group – operates to the highest levels in scouting, providing outstanding opportunities, challenges and adventure to the young people of Leigh-on-Sea.
  • South Essex Community Hub, Southend-on-Sea – works to build ever improving communities, based on shared values and social cohesion through the provision of information, advice, projects, events and services that inform, challenge, educate train and entertain.

This award is given to volunteer groups across the UK to recognise exceptional service within their communities. The recipients of the award are announced each year on 2 June - the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

The two groups will receive the award from Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst, Lord Lieutenant of Essex, later this year, or when the current restrictions are lifted.

The awards coincide with National Volunteers week, which runs from 1 – 7 June.

Cllr Ian Gilbert, leader of the council, said: “I am incredibly proud of the work the plethora of third sector groups do across the Borough, particularly given the unprecedented times we find ourselves in.

“I am delighted for the two winners who have done their Borough and our residents proud. They rightly deserve this recognition for the fantastic work they do within the community, which is absolutely vital as we continue to face the daily challenges thrown our way.”

Malcolm Clark, chair of trustees at the South Essex Community Hub (SECH), said: "This is a great acknowledgement to all the unsung volunteers, staff and trustees of SECH who have work so tirelessly over the last 5 years, helping over 25,000 people in Southend with all manner of problems and difficulties".

Any group of two or more people that has participated in voluntary work for more than three years can be nominated for the award. Nominations for the 2021 QAVS awards close at midnight on 25 September 2020, and full details on how to nominate are available at


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