It can take up to two years to confer a national honour, but with the New Year’s Honours list just around the corner now is the perfect time to put forward the names of those organisations and individuals who serve our community with care, dedication and distinction.

Awards lists are not just made up of the names of the rich and famous, but also organisations and individuals who provide a vital role in supporting their communities.

People who have consistently helped others can be awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE), or a Member of the British Empire (MBE). Extra weight may in future go to those who have supported their community in dealing with the pandemic.

Each year on average only about 45 people from Essex are awarded an honour.

If you know of someone who has shown selfless support or displayed a real interest in improving the lives of others, why not put their name forward for an honour?


Start by completing a nomination form. One is found on page 15 of Suggesting-Someone-for-an-Honour

Other than detailing why an individual should receive an award, remember it’s important that the person you nominate is still actively involved in what you are nominating them for.

It is also important the nomination is kept secret from the person you’re nominating.

You cannot nominate yourself, nor someone for a particular honour. That is decided by an honours committee whose recommendations go to the Prime Minister and then to Her Majesty the Queen.

The committee can take between 18 months to 2 years to bestow an honour.


Awards are not just for individuals but also for organisations.

Voluntary groups can be nominated for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. This award is the highest award given to local voluntary groups. It aims to shine a light on outstanding achievements by groups that enhance and improve the quality of life and opportunity in communities.

Groups nominated must have been running for at least three years, provide a service and meet the needs of local people, and be supported and respected among their community. The nominee must be independent of the group they wish to put forward for an award.

Further information about the National Awards can be found in 2021 Essex Honours Programme