We are delighted and thrilled that we have been awarded the UK’s highest volunteer accolade by the Queen herself – the QAVS – the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

On hearing the news, Ann Gillard (our CEO) said “For our volunteers today and for all those who have been part of our wonderful team on its 25 year journey, this is the ultimate recognition. What a very special chapter to be writing in our anniversary year.”

We have supported some 16,000 jobseekers towards employment through our career information, advice and guidance services. During our 25 years, we have constantly evolved to meet the changing needs of the jobs market. Through the Covid pandemic we supported more people than ever by operating remotely. Now we are embracing refugees, those in temporary homes, ex-offenders and veterans.

The QAVS is equivalent to an MBE recognising outstanding work by local volunteer-led groups to benefit their communities. We look forward to receiving our crystal award and certificate from the Lord-Lieutenant of East Sussex, Andrew Blackman, at a ceremony later this summer; and two volunteers will attend a Buckingham Palace garden party next year.

Meanwhile, we are also planning a number of celebrations and events to mark our 25th anniversary year and this award certainly crowns our special year.