Community News

Bear-Patrol receive Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

Besi Besemar June 2, 2015

Brighton based Bear-Patrol, have been recognised for their fundraising with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

Danny Dwyer
Danny Dwyer

Bear-Patrol are an LGBT social group who organise leisure, challenge and fundraising events to reduce isolation and provide a network for the local community. Today, they have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

Danny Dwyer and John Cook from Bear-Patrol attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace on, May 28 where they met the Queen and other recipients of this year’s award.

Bear-Patrol are one of 187 national charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year.

The number of awards handed out to groups has increased by over 60% from 2014, due to an increase in high quality applications, indicating that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to tackle community challenges.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work in their communities.

The awards were created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and winners are announced each year on June 2 – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

Bear-Patrol will receive their award from the Lord Lieutenant of Sussex later this summer.

Martyn Lewis
Martyn Lewis

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Committee Chair, former broadcast journalist Martyn Lewis CBE, said: “I warmly congratulate all of the inspirational voluntary groups who have been rewarded for their community work with a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The judging panel for this year’s awards were struck by the quality and breadth of all the successful groups. The thousands of volunteers who give up spare time to help others in their community and to help solve problems demonstrate the best of democracy in action.”

Rob Wilson MP
Rob Wilson MP

Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson MP, added: “I would like to congratulate all groups who received this year’s Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, in recognition of their fantastic achievements.The hard work and commitment that goes into the work of these organisations is surpassed only by the passion and motivation of the individuals who volunteer. I hope these groups continue to inspire others to get involved and make a positive impact so that
 we can continue to build a bigger, stronger society.”

Danny Dwyer founder and leader of the Bear-Patrol, said: “To receive the nomination at first gave the group a huge boost but to actually win the award along with so many other well deserving charities and groups is just amazing and I am so proud of everyone involved that work so hard to make the Bear-Patrol group a continued success.”

Bear Patrol join an very exclusive group of LGBT organisations in Brighton and Hove who have received the award recognising their work within the LGBT community with the Gay Elderly Men’s Society (GEMS) being the only other LGBT volunteer led group to receive the award in 2011.

Since January 1, 2011 Bear Patrol have raised a total of £110,110.39 for a variety of organisations including:

Sussex Beacon: £104,139.04

Canine Partners: £3,349.72

GMFA: £763.75

Lunch Positive: £505.73

MacMillan: £425

THT: (South): £305

Rainbow Fund: £250

Peer Action: £180

Brighton Pride: £162.15

Demelza: £30

Any group of two or more people that has participated in voluntary work for more than three years can be nominated for the award.

For details on how to nominate, click here:

Nominations for the 2016 awards close on September 18, 2015