EmployabilityUK Receives Queen's Award for Voluntary Services

We are delighted to announce that we were today revealed as a recipient of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The award recognises EmployabilityUK’s commitment to volunteers working together for the benefit of young people and their local communities.

The organisation works to support young people from some of the country’s most deprived areas, ensuring that they have the skills and confidence to succeed in the workplace.

Speaking on receiving the award, Di Vernon, EmployabilityUK Chief Executive, said: “It’s absolutely incredible and we’re over the moon to have been recognised in this way. Our volunteers are the very fabric of our charity, and all that we are has been shaped by their expertise. Indeed, we achieved our very first pilot programme with just two employees and a team of thirty volunteers.”

“With over 1,000 volunteers involved over the years, we now have more than 100 volunteers actively working with us, and it’s wonderful that this award recognises their passion, dedication, and most of all the very real and practical difference they make to each and every young person we connect with. I never imagined we’d receive something as special as a Queen’s Award, but it’s further galvanised our belief in all that we do. I know that it will do for us, what we do for young people – empower us to move forwards in a much bolder way.”

Coventry Building Society nominated EmployabilityUK for the award after experiencing the impact that volunteers have on the charity’s operations.

Anna Cuskin, Senior Manager for Coventry Building Society, said: “We’ve partnered with Di and the team for the last six years on their pioneering Employability Skills programme, and together we’ve supported over 750 Coventry-based Year 12 students. Seeing the life-changing impact the programmes have is humbling, and not just in terms of teaching practical skills, but confidence, self-belief, and aspiration too.”

EmployabilityUK is scheduled to receive the award crystal and certificate from Lord-Lieutenant John Crabtree OBE in summer 2021, followed by two EUK volunteers visiting Buckingham Palace in May 2022.

“We’re very much looking forward to marking the award win” explained Diane, “and we’re arranging our own celebratory event this summer for all of the volunteers who have supported us over the years.”

The programmes offered by the organisation featured strongly in the nomination, and included their 360 transformation in 360 minutes which is delivered face-to-face in schools, colleges and community venues and the Inspiring Young Birmingham programme which helps prepare young people to volunteer for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. This programme was one of the first partners announced by United by Birmingham 2022 and has benefitted over 800 young people since it began in 2020.

The pandemic and lockdowns meant the workshops had to be developed for online delivery, and the organisation was quick to adapt, launching their EmployabilityUK Virtual Workshops nationwide. With around 50 young people at every workshop, the content creation and delivery are all run through volunteers who come from a variety of backgrounds.

Programmes cover topics including The A-Z of Super Confidence, Vision Boards and Be Your Best You, How to Produce an Effective CV, Presentation Skills, and How to Shine at an Interview.

“The charity provides a first-class experience for both beneficiaries and volunteers, and its work has an obvious and long-lasting impact on the lives of the young people it exists for” added Alan Matthews, a long-standing Volunteer.

To learn more about our programmes or volunteering with the organisation, please contact us.