A message from all at Volunteer Scotland
8 September 2022
We are deeply saddened by the news of Her Majesty The Queen’s passing and send our heartfelt condolences to her family.
Throughout her life, Her Majesty has been a great supporter of volunteering in Scotland and worldwide. Almost 72% of honours in the UK between 2015 and 2018 went to individuals doing community and voluntary service, many of those based in Scotland. Alan Stevenson, Chief Executive Officer of Volunteer Scotland said:
"Her Majesty the Queen understood the power of volunteering to improve lives and communities. Throughout her 70 years of service, Queen Elizabeth recognised and touched the lives of countless volunteers through awards and honours but also through many thousands of community engagements. It’s right we now celebrate the Queen’s life, her service and a legacy which will live long into the future."
In 2002, for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) was created to shine a light on the millions of people across the UK that make a difference through volunteering. Equivalent to an MBE, the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local voluntary groups in the UK, and they are awarded for life. Since 2018, 74 groups in Scotland alone were awarded the Queens Award for Voluntary Service.
The Queen was also a Patron of over 25 charitable and volunteer involving organisations based in Scotland, including Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland, YMCA Scotland and the Royal British Legion of Scotland. Volunteer Scotland Interim Chair, Paul Okroj, is Director of People Driven Development at Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland and said:
"As patron of Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland, the Queen played a leading role in our mission to make sure that there is no life half lived in Scotland," he said. "Over the last 70 years, her support of our work has helped hundreds of thousands of families get the support they need to live life after a stroke, chest or heart condition.
"Her Majesty championed volunteering and recognised the incredible impact our volunteers have on the lives of people living in our communities.
"The ongoing legacy is about the acts of kindness that she undertook and that’s what volunteers do daily. She promoted those during her reign and was the epitome of it."
Her legacy will live on far into the future.
A period of national mourning has now started, continuing until the end of the day of the State Funeral (Monday 19th September). Many charities, volunteers, and communities will be affected and may be taking part in events, tributes, and memorials. We send our best to all those involved.
Note: Volunteer Scotland will close its offices on the day of the State Funeral.