Queen Consort Camilla is backing new awards to honour the “herculean efforts” of “unsung heroes” who volunteer in their communities.
The 75-year-old royal, who is to be crowned alongside her husband King Charles, 74, at his coronation in London’s Westminster Abbey on 6 May, has teamed up with the Royal Voluntary Service – of which she is president – to call for people to nominate their choice for one of 500 ‘Coronation Champions’.
She said in a statement on the RVS website: “I am delighted to be launching the awards… to shine a light on the herculean efforts of our nation’s volunteers.
“Up and down the country millions of unsung heroes are contributing to their local communities, giving generously of their time and their talents to enhance the lives of others.
“If you know a volunteer who is making a difference, be sure to share their story. We would love to hear about them.”
Nominations will be divided into the eight categories Supporting Older People; Supporting Young People and Children; Crisis and Welfare; Community, Sports, Culture and Heritage; Health and Care; Sustainability and the Environment; and Animal Welfare.
Nominations need to be in by 2 April and the champions will receive a specially designed official Coronation Champions pin and certificate signed by Camilla.
All 500 will also be invited to attend one of the official coronation celebrations, such as the Windsor Castle Coronation Concert on 7 May or a Coronation Garden Party.
Celebrities backing the awards include Dame Judi Dench, Elaine Paige, Nadiya Hussain, Tom Read Wilson and Felicity Kendal.
Dame Judi, 88, said: “The upcoming Coronation of His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen Consort will be a joyous moment in our nation’s history.
“The Coronation Champions Awards are not only a fitting tribute to Their Majesties’ own public service, but they are also a superb opportunity to pause and show our appreciation for the people who are achieving marvellous things through volunteering.
“Throughout my own work with charitable causes, I have seen how the power of volunteering can be invaluable and far-reaching.
“Therefore, I do sympathise with the award judges, who I predict will have quite a challenge on their hands in identifying Coronation Champions from what will inevitably be some phenomenal nominations.”