The Volunteer Action Group at Shri Venkateswara Balaji Temple has been awarded the prestigious Queens Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) for 2021. The announcement was made on 2 June 2021, the anniversary of Queen's coronation.
It is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK. It is the MBE for volunteer groups and is awarded for life.
The news of the Award came from the Lord Lieutenant of West Midlands, John Crabtree OBE who wrote that QAVS is awarded to outstanding groups of volunteers whose level of initiative and impact are truly exceptional. Each group is assessed on the benefit it brings to the local community and its standing within that community.
The last year has been a challenging time for the temple and its community service. The volunteers have been incredible in developing comprehensive risk assessment and development tools to keep devotees and the public safe. The tools were shared nationally with other places of worship to ensure best practice and safety, ensuring that all communities benefit.
This work has been in addition to the routine day-to-day work of the group providing valuable community service (Seva).
The Shri Venkateswara (Balaji) Temple is one of the largest functioning Hindu temples in Europe. In recent years it has made news headlines for its innovative ideas.The QAVS will be officially presented by the West Midlands Lord Lieutenant at an Awards Ceremony at Birmingham Hippodrome in October 2021. The Group will receive a Certificate signed by Her Majesty the Queen and a commemorative Crystal.