We are delighted to welcome back the Diocese of Westminster ‘Love in Action’ Volunteering Awards! This is a great opportunity to nominate those volunteers you know of who you think deserve an award for their commitment and dedication to voluntary service.

With a number of categories to choose from, we are confident you will find one for your exceptional volunteer/s. Winners will be presented with an award at an evening of celebration in November.

Nominations close on 30th June!

To make a nomination, please scroll down to the nomination form.

Key information:

Anyone can nominate individual volunteers or volunteer teams.

The nominated volunteers must live or volunteer within the Diocese of Westminster. They do not have to come to volunteer through the Caritas Volunteer Service or have links to Caritas. The Diocese covers most of London north of the River Thames and all of Hertfordshire. A map of the Diocese is here: www.caritaswestminster.org.uk/about-us/

Nominated volunteers do not have to be Catholic.  The awards are open to people of all faiths and none. 

An independent panel of judges will select the winners of the five awards. Winners will be announced during the celebration event on 14th November.

Please note: You cannot nominate a member of your family or anyone who won an award in that category before. Runners-up in previous years, however, can be nominated again.

For more information, such as criteria and choosing a category, please look at the FAQ section below. If you do not find the answer to your questions there, please do not hesitate to contact Elke or Juliet at cvs@rcdow.org.uk

We look forward to your nomination and to celebrating with you on 14th November!

Tips for writing a good nomination

How do I choose the correct category?

For some volunteers, the award you wish to nominate them for is straightforward. A group of volunteers who run a social action project in a parish, for example, can definitely be nominated for the ‘Parish Social Action Award’. 

For others, it can be harder to choose. Is there, for example, one person, who has been the backbone of a parish project for many years? You could nominate that person for the ‘Parish Social Action Award’ or for the ‘Ron Palmer Lifetime Achievement Award’. As long as the criteria for a category are met, the choice is yours!

Please look at the information for each category to help you decide.

We are happy to help you choose if you
contact us.

Parish Social Action Award

Who can be nominated for the Parish Social Action Award?

You can nominate individual volunteers or a team of volunteers.

In order to be eligible for this award, there has to be a link to a Catholic parish within the Diocese of Westminster, such as:

– the nominated individual or team are parishioners. 
– the nominated individual or team volunteer with an outreach activity or project such as a food bank, homeless shelter or community café which is run by the parish or with the support of the parish. Projects can be aimed at serving parishioners or the wider community. Interdenominational or interfaith social outreach activities serving the wider community are good examples for the latter.

Nominees must have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to volunteering and putting into practice Catholic Social Teaching values in at least one of the following areas: Human Dignity, Community and Participation, Dignity in Work, Option for the Poor, Solidarity and Peace, Care for Creation.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

Tips for writing a good nomination

Tips for writing a good nomination

The main points to consider when filling in the nomination form are:

1. The criteria – what the panel of judges will be looking for

The panel will award marks against the following criteria in all categories:

  • demonstration of outstanding commitment of volunteering
  • demonstration of putting into practice Catholic Social Teaching values in at least one of the following areas: Human Dignity, Community and Participation, Dignity in Work, Option for the Poor, Solidarity and Peace, Care for Creation

The panel will also award marks, where appropriate, for:

  • a nominee’s contribution to community engagement, for example  wider or more intensive engagement of the parish community; collaboration with a school or the wider local community. The panel will give due consideration to the potential for community engagement in a particular role and age group.
  • personal development of the nominee/s due to their volunteering
  • the overall impact the volunteer or volunteer team have had on the lives of others or the community. This is where a case study or number of people helped can be useful.

2. Paint a vivid picture of the nominee/s.

Remember that the panel will only have your words any supporting evidence to go by. Help them to see your nominee/s through your eyes and understand why you think your nominee is so special.

Vague statements like ‘this volunteer is kind and helpful’ will not make them stand out from the other nominations. Be as detailed as you can (without writing a novel), tell their story. If you have a testimonial from someone your nominee helped, include it (without giving names).

3. Provide supporting evidence, such as photographs, if you can.

Photos, video clips, quotes from others can be helpful. They are optional. You will need to email them to cvs@rcdow.org.uk as the online form does not support uploads.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.

School Social Action Award

Who can be nominated for the School Social Action Award?

You can nominate individual students or a group of students at a primary or secondary school.

Staff members may be included in a team nomination or be nominated themselves for social action carried in a voluntary capacity only, i.e. going above and beyond their paid job description.

For example, the student/s and/or staff members could be involved with a foodbank run by the school, organise or support other outreach activities, charities and more. Another example for team nominations are Caritas Ambassador groups.

As for all of the categories, nominees should have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to volunteering and putting into practice Catholic Social Teaching values in one or more of the following areas: Human Dignity, Community and Participation, Dignity in Work, Option for the Poor, Solidarity and Peace, Care for Creation. 

Other categories you might like to consider are the ‘Young Volunteer/s of the Year Award’ or the ‘Ron Palmer Lifetime Achievement Award’.

Young Volunteer/s of the Year Award

Who can be nominated for the Young Volunteer/s of the Year Award?

To qualify for this award, the nominee/s must be under 25  years old. No minimum age requirement.

You can nominate one or more individual volunteers or volunteer teams.

As for all categories, nominees should have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to volunteering and putting into practice Catholic Social Teaching values in at least one of the following areas: Human Dignity, Community and Participation, Dignity in Work, Option for the Poor, Solidarity and Peace, Care for Creation.

Nominees do not have to be Catholics.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

Other categories you might like to consider are the ‘Parish Social Action Award’, the ‘School Social Action Award’ or the ‘St Therese of Lisieux Award’. 

Ron Palmer Lifetime Achievement Award

Who can be nominated for the Ron Palmer Lifetime Achievement Award?

Named after Ron Palmer, who still volunteered at over 100 years of age at Caritas St Joseph’s, this award recognises outstanding volunteering over a long period of time. To be eligible for this award, volunteers must have served for at least 10 years. You can nominate an individual who is still volunteering or someone who has fairly recently (since January 2023) retired from volunteering.

As in all categories, the nominee must have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to volunteering and putting into practice Catholic Social Teaching values in at least one of the following areas: Human Dignity, Community and Participation, Dignity in Work, Option for the Poor, Solidarity and Peace, Care for Creation.

This is an award for individuals. If you wish to nominate more than one person, please submit separate nomination forms for each one. Team nominations will not be considered. 

Nominees do not have to be Catholics.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

Other categories you might like to consider are the ‘Parish Social Action Award’, the ‘School Social Action Award’ of the ‘St Thérèse of Lisieux Award’. 

St. Therese of Lisieux Award

Who can be nominated for the ‘St Thérèse of Lisieux Award’?

“Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, or even at their difficulty, as at the love with which we do them.” St Thérèse of Lisieux.

This Award recognises volunteers whose exceptional commitment to voluntary service does not fall into any of the other categories. This category is open to all. You can nominate anyone who has served a parish, charity or community group with great dedication.

In the case of parish volunteers, this category is for those volunteers in non-social action roles. For example, a nominee could carry out ‘typical’ parish volunteering roles like flower arrangers, church cleaners, committee members, repository, hospitality, or choir leader. Or it could be someone who does lots of little jobs with great love. You can nominate someone who does not have a named role, but has served the parish in some other way. Volunteers involved in parish social action / outreach projects, such as a food bank, drop-in for homeless people, refugee welcome groups and the like, should be nominated for the Parish Social Action Award.

For exceptional long term service, the ‘Ron Palmer Lifetime Achievement Award’ is another option. If you are not sure, please get in touch at cvs@rcdow.org.uk

This award is for an individual or a team.

As for all of the categories, nominees should have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to volunteering and putting into practice Catholic Social Teaching values in at least one of the following areas: Human Dignity, Community and Participation, Dignity in Work, Option for the Poor, Solidarity and Peace, Care for Creation.

Nominees do not have to be Catholics.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

Other categories you might like to consider are the ‘Ron Palmer Lifetime Achievement Award’ or the ‘Young Volunteer/s of the Year Award’. 

Need a little inspiration?

Click here to read about the award winners in 2022

Please note: the form accepts one nomination. If you wish to nominate more than one person or volunteer team, please submit one nomination at a time. If the form ‘disappears’ after submitting the first nomination, please refresh the page to bring it back. Contact cvs@rcdow.org.uk if you require any assistance.

Whilst our preference is for nominations to be submitted using this online form, if it is easier, there is the option to answer the questions in a Word document and send it to us by email or post. Please download the form as a Word document here: Volunteering Awards Nomination Form.

Diocese of Westminster ‘Love in Action’ Volunteering Awards 2024 – Nomination Form

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You can watch the recording of the 2022 celebration on the Diocese of Westminster’s YouTube channel here:

Interested in volunteering? Looking for volunteers? The Caritas Volunteer Service is here to help.

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