The Duchess of Cornwall has launched a bid to find the nation’s Platinum Champions in honour of the Queen’s Jubilee year.
Camilla said the awards – designed to celebrate outstanding volunteers – will recognise “all of those truly special people” who make a difference to the lives of others.
Local heroes were the “backbone of this country”, the duchess said, and the top winners will be invited to a special edition of The Big Jubilee Lunch on June 5 during the Jubilee weekend festivities.
Organised by the Royal Voluntary Service, of which Camilla is president, the Platinum Champions Awards are taking place in tribute to the Queen, who is patron of the charity.
“In honour of Her Majesty The Queen’s 70 years of service, we want to celebrate the outstanding contribution of volunteers.
“In the search for our Platinum Champions, we want to thank and recognise all of those truly special people that are making a real difference to our communities with their kindness and generosity.
“I hope many of you will share your stories of these local heroes and nominate them for a Platinum Champion Award.
“I believe it is these volunteers, enhancing the lives of others, that are the backbone of this country.
“I look forward to seeing our Platinum Champions, and all volunteers, celebrated at The Big Jubilee Lunch this summer.”
Volunteers can be nominated at www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/platinum-champions-awards/ until April 10.
Among those backing the initiative are dancer Oti Mabuse, presenter Phillip Schofield, singer Elaine Paige and actress Felicity Kendal.
Catherine Johnstone, chief executive of Royal Voluntary Service, said:
“Royal Voluntary Service volunteers are among the millions of selfless people providing life-transforming support to others all over the country, every day.
“Through the Platinum Champions Awards, we want to commend volunteers of all ages, from all corners of Britain and from a range of causes for their generosity.”
There are seven categories: older people; children; crisis and welfare; community; mental health; physical health; and supporting the NHS and social care.
Seventy volunteers in each of the categories will be awarded the Platinum Champions honour and presented with a Platinum Champions pin and a signed certificate from Camilla.
A further 10 outstanding volunteers from each category will be invited to celebrate at The Big Jubilee Lunch.
The BBC’s The One Show and Morning Live are the official broadcast partners and will be showcasing some of the stories.
Royal Voluntary Service is one of Britain’s largest volunteering charities with volunteers supporting the NHS and thousands of vulnerable people in the community.