1. HM Lord-Lieutenant of East Sussex
  2. Honours and awards
  3. The King's Award for Voluntary Service

The King's Award for Voluntary Service

The King’s Award for Voluntary Service (KAVS) celebrates the outstanding work volunteer groups do in their community.

It is the MBE for volunteer groups and it is awarded for life. It is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK.

The award was created in 2002 for HM Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee and renamed following the Accession of King Charles III. 

By attaching His Majesty’s name to these awards, The King is continuing Queen Elizabeth’s legacy of recognising the significant contribution of volunteers.

The nomination process

Sussex Heart Charity, April 2024
The Sussex Heart Charity receiving the King's Award for Voluntary Service - April 2024

Groups cannot nominate themselves, someone else must nominate them.

Find out who is eligible

To nominate a group, you must:

  • know about the group’s work
  • supply two letters of support from people who know the group well

On your application you must describe:

  • what the group does
  • who benefits and how
  • what makes the volunteers exceptional

How the winners are chosen

Volunteer groups must meet certain criteria before they can be considered for an award. There is a two-stage assessment process to decide which organisations go on to win. The first stage of this process includes Deputy Lieutenants visiting eligible organisations in the county.

After the winners are announced, the Lord-Lieutenant presents the award to the successful groups, on behalf of HM The King.

Advice on your nomination

We are happy to advise you on your nomination.

Contact us for advice.

What happens and when

Nominations for the 2024 awards are closed. The winners will be announced on HM The King’s birthday on 14 November 2024 on the KAVS website.

You can apply for the 2025 awards from 1 September 2024:

Key dates for the diary

1 September

Nomination window opens

1 December

Nomination window closes

January to April

The Lieutenancy verifies the information and visits eligible groups

April to August

National assessment process and Royal approval of winners

14 November

Awards officially announced on HM The King's birthday in The Gazette, on GOV.UK and on the KAVS website

November onwards

The Lord-Lieutenant presents the awards to successful groups

East Sussex winners

In 2023, there were six East Sussex winners of the King’s Award for Voluntary Service:

Pedal People

The Sussex Heart Charity

Brighter Uckfield

National Coastwatch Institution, Newhaven

The Monday Group

New Note Orchestra