Helpforce Champions

Now is the time to celebrate volunteers in health and social care


We are delighted to announce that the Helpforce Champions Awards 2022 is now open for nominations. Closing date is 05th September, 6pm.

Helpforce Champions Awards are the perfect way to celebrate the contribution made by volunteers in health and care across the UK.

The winners will be invited to a special awards ceremony in London, the Royal Airforce Club, on 4th November.

You may notice some categories are different this year. Following a review, we have made some changes to try and make the competition as varied and inclusive as possible. You can see last year's winners and those highly commended here.

Helpforce Champions Awards 2022 is a chance to shine a light on those who give their time to help staff in the NHS and voluntary and community organisations, and support patients and their families and carers.

For this year, when you nominate a volunteer or a team, regardless of the outcomes, their stories will still be shared on Helpforce’s Wall of Fame as a way of thanking nominees, sharing their volunteer stories, and inspiring others to volunteer.

Award categories

Our Helpforce Champions Awards recognise volunteers in nine categories. We are especially looking for examples of people trying something new, bringing about positive changes and setting new levels of excellence.

Outstanding Volunteering Team of the Year Team Volunteer

This award recognises excellent teamwork and the combined contribution of three or more volunteers working together. The group will have achieved significant success as a team, whether working on an event, project or service. The group can be volunteers in the NHS or in a community or voluntary setting.

Volunteer to Career: Volunteer of the Year Young Volunteer

This award recognises the achievement of a volunteer or former volunteer who has gone on to a career in health or care. They might have gone straight into employment or could be studying or training for a job in health or care. The job can be in the NHS or in a voluntary or community organisation. They can be any age. They do not have to be a member of a Helpforce Volunteer to Career programme.

Volunteer of the Year: Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Wales (4 categories) Volunteer Of The Year

This award celebrates four individuals who have gone above and beyond expectations in their volunteering role during the year, and made a noticeable impact on the experience of staff, patients and their local community. We will be choosing one winner from each of the UK nations: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Outstanding Staff Champion for Volunteers Staff Champion

This award goes to a supportive member of health and care staff (outside of volunteer management) who has championed and embraced volunteers, and gone the extra mile to recognise the positive impact volunteers can make. This could be a nurse, health visitor, physio, healthcare assistant, or any colleague who has made a special effort to welcome and support volunteers.

Volunteer Manager of the Year Volunteer Leader

This award recognises the commitment and dedication of an outstanding health and care staff member who manages volunteers, or has a core responsibility for managing or coordinating volunteering in the health and care sector. We want to see examples of leaders who have improved the way volunteers support staff, patients, and the volunteers themselves using innovation and bringing about transformation. This award is open to volunteer managers within the NHS and in voluntary and community organisations. The nominee does not have to have the job title of volunteer manager, as long as they manage volunteer as part of their job.

Health Leader Champion for Volunteering Partnership Working

This award recognises a senior leader in health and care who has championed volunteering in the NHS or a voluntary or community organisation. This could be a Chief Executive, Director, Head of Department or policy maker who has enabled a volunteer service to thrive and develop, or lobbied on behalf of volunteers at a senior level.

Breaking Down Barriers Award Innovation

Building on the progress made since the Covid-19 outbreak, this award recognises examples of volunteering that are working across organisational and sector boundaries. For example, volunteers operating across the community to support integrated care, or partnerships operating between NHS, voluntary & community sector, and local government.

How to nominate:

Deadline for applications: 6pm on the 05th September 2022

1. Complete our online entry form, here.

2. You can attach photos and testimonials to support your nomination.

3. We will contact you by email to let you know if your nomination has been shortlisted. Unfortunately we will not be able to provide feedback to why individual nominations have not been shortlisted.

4. Please note, if shortlisted, we may ask you for a short two minute video of your nominee to be shared on our website and social media.

Frequently asked questions