Communities across Britain are being urged to honour ‘ordinary’ people doing extraordinary things by nominating them for a new national award. The British Citizen Awards (BCA) recognises exceptional individuals who work tirelessly and selflessly to make a positive impact upon society. Successfully launched in January this year, the inaugural BCA ceremony saw 28 people honoured at a prestigious ceremony hosted by Baroness Cox at the Palace of Westminster.
Nominations are currently being accepted for the next round of medal presentations, which will take place on July 9 2015, again at the Palace of Westminster. All BCA recipients receive a Medal of Honour, inscribed with the words ‘For the Good of the Country’. Medalists are also invited to use the initials BCA after their name. The British Citizen Awards were launched to honour the incredible accomplishments of individuals in society who positively impact their communities. BCAs are awarded twice annually, as are the Queen’s Honours, but these awards only recognise ‘everyday’ people whose achievements may otherwise be overlooked. Mike Faulkner, co-founder of the awards, said: “There are literally thousands of people across the UK making life better for others, and until now with no formal recognition open to them. “This programme, which many see as an alternative Honours system, has been created to enable every individual across the country to nominate someone who they feel deserves to be recognised. We have nothing but respect for the Honours system but believe that a more accessible recognition programme is long overdue.”
Nominations from all corners of the UK, all cultural backgrounds and from all sectors of the community are being welcomed until the closing deadline on April 30. “Our first award ceremony in January was a phenomenal success, and it was fantastic to honour individuals who were simply remarkable human beings. We look forward to honouring more exceptional individuals within our communities during this next round of awards.” Basil Preuveneers, co-found of the awards, said: “It is remarkable how many people are positively impacting the lives of those around them without reward or recognition, and it’s fantastic that we can now celebrate them.”
The awards have attracted support from several high-profile ambassadors, including actress and former EastEnders star Brooke Kinsella, and former high-court judge, Dame Linda Dobbs DBE. Brooke said: “The British Citizen Awards are a way to honour ordinary people who do extraordinary things and I am proud to offer my support. There are so many wonderful people doing life-changing things in our communities and it is time they were recognised. If you know a person deserving of this award please nominate them now!”
Dame Linda Dobbs DBE said: “There are many people in the community who do significant voluntary and unpaid work without official recognition. It is important that their efforts are recognised, not only in order that the volunteers themselves know that their valuable contributions are noted, but also, in order that others can appreciate their work and, hopefully, feel encouraged to volunteer themselves. The British Citizen Awards are an excellent way to shine the spotlight on such kind, caring and selfless people in our community.”
Nominations are free and people can be entered into one of eight different categories. All nominations will be scrutinised by an independent committee, with their choices passed on to an assessment panel for final ratification. Thirty nominees will then be shortlisted to receive an award. To nominate, email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a nomination form, or visit www.britishcitizenawards.co.uk to find out more. Nominations close on 30 April 2015.