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Download our nominations booklet for a handy guide to our award categories. You can also order a paper version. The booklet contains top tips, written by our Volunteer Forum, to help you write a great submission. You can also read examples of successful nominations.

Before you submit your nomination, you might find it useful to read through the answers to the questions below.

Who can make a nomination?

Anyone can nominate a volunteer, or group of volunteers, for an award to get them the recognition they deserve.

We think our awards are special, as they are the result of volunteer-led decision panels who select fellow unsung heroes. That’s why we’re calling on you to spend a few minutes to consider who you would like to nominate.

A person who works closely with the volunteer, or group of volunteers, is often the best person to submit a nomination. The nominator can be a volunteer, service user or colleague, and does not need to be a Volunteer Manager.

If your nominee has many volunteer roles, or volunteers for many teams, please consider submitting a joint nomination. You can do this by working with the nominee’s fellow volunteers or Volunteer Managers. The more you tell us about how and why your nominee goes above and beyond, the better your chances of success.

Who can I nominate?

You can nominate any volunteer, or group of volunteers, for an award.

We encourage you to nominate anybody who gives their time to Macmillan and meets our award criteria. If you are not sure whether your nominee is a volunteer, or would like to know who their Macmillan contact or Volunteer Manager is, please email

There is no minimum length of service for our Special Recognition Awards. We want to celebrate volunteers who have made a huge impact, no matter how long they’ve been a volunteer. You can also nominate ‘indirect’ Macmillan volunteers, such as Macmillan volunteers in partner organisations. It’s very important to make sure the Macmillan contact on your submission form is spelled correctly and is up to date.

If you would like to check whether an award is for a group or individual, please see our award criteria before you submit a nomination.

Sir Hugh Dundas Volunteer of the Year Award

We are no longer accepting nominations for the Sir Hugh Dundas Volunteer of the Year Award. This year, the awards panel will review all of our national award winners (from each of this year’s award categories) and select the most outstanding winner as the Sir Hugh Dundas Volunteer of the Year. Find out more about these changes.

The Long Service Award

The Long Service Award celebrates the effort, commitment and teamwork that volunteers show over many years. The award is open to individuals and groups, and we recognise the following lengths of service: 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, 25 years, 30 years, 40 years, 50 years, 60 years.

If your volunteer will reach their long service anniversary in 2019, you can still nominate them for a Long Service Award. If your volunteer will reach their milestone after 31 December 2019, they can be nominated for a Long Service Award when the next nomination window opens in Autumn 2020.

Certificates will be delivered to nominees ahead of Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June 2020), in time for any planned recognition events.

Who can't I nominate?

We do not accept nominations for volunteers who have won the same award in the past five years. We kindly ask that you find this out before nominating. You can find out by checking with colleagues, a Volunteer Improvement Adviser, the nominee or their Volunteer Manager.

You can nominate a previous award winner in another award category.

How many words can I write per nomination?

Nominations have a total limit of 700 words. Please use this word count to tell a compelling story about your volunteer(s). Remember, you know how amazing they are – so this is your opportunity to let us know why your nominee deserves to win.

As well as award criteria for each category, we provide a 40-word introduction where you can tell us what makes your nominee so inspirational. If your award category has three criteria points, we provide 220 words per criteria point. If your award category has four criteria points, we provide 165 words per criteria point. With the introduction, this offers a total of 700 words per nomination.

We hope this new approach allows nominators to focus their nominations and provide relevant examples for each award criteria.

How can I write a great nomination?

We have lots of advice to help you write your nomination. You can download our nominations booklet, or order a paper version, which contains top tips from our Volunteer Forum. We recommend you draft your nomination in our template before submitting. You can even ask a colleague or friend to proofread it. It might also be helpful to view examples of successful nominations.

How many nominations can I submit?

You can submit as many nominations for different volunteers as you like. We always welcome high-quality nominations, so the more the better.

However, we can’t accept a nomination for the same volunteer in more than one of our nine Special Recognition Award categories. When the award panels select the winners for each region, however, they can decide to move a nomination from one category to another if they feel it better suits the nominee and their achievements.

If you are nominating more than one volunteer, we do not recommend submitting a generic nomination template for each nominee – this is because nominations should reflect personal achievements. Our volunteers decide who wins regionally, and their feedback says that generic nominations can diminish a volunteer’s achievements.

You can view examples of successful nominations to help you.

What about volunteers with more than one role?

Some of our amazing volunteers have more than one role. As a result, they have more than one Volunteer Manager. At the moment, we are not able to personalise Long Service Award certificates to state volunteer roles. If you are nominating a volunteer for a Long Service Award, contact their Volunteer Managers to see if they have already received one for a particular milestone. You can also ask the nominee.

Can I nominate groups of volunteers?

You can nominate groups of volunteers for the following award categories: Corporate Volunteer, Deborah Hutton, Douglas Macmillan, Richard Hambro, Vicky Clement-Jones, Young Macmillan Champion, Service Team of the Year and Fundraising Group/Committee.

You can now also nominate groups of volunteers for the Long Service Award.

When nominating a group for a Special Recognition Awards, please tell us how many members are in the group so we can send the correct amount of pin badges if they win. Please note, we send one certificate per group.

How are results of my nomination communicated?

We will inform nominators of the results in February 2020. In the case of volunteer nominations, we will also inform the Volunteer Manager.

When we get in touch with results, all regional and national award winners will have been decided. It is up to the Volunteer Manager to communicate the results with nominees, whether successful or unsuccessful. In March 2020, we will send an official letter of congratulations to all regional and national winners.

How are awards presented?

Regional winners

If your volunteer(s) win a regional award, it is your responsibility, as nominator, to present the award(s). We particularly recommend Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June 2020) as an exciting time to hold the presentation. However, there may be other dates that best suit the volunteer(s). Whenever you decide to present the award, please do consider allocating budget for volunteer reward and recognition.

If you are a volunteer who has nominated a fellow volunteer, it is the responsibility of the winning volunteer’s manager to make this presentation, to the preference of the volunteer, for example it could be as part of a regional thanking event. Communications, pins and certificates will be posted to the winning volunteers’ manager. However, we will keep the volunteer nominator notified along the way.

National winners

As the Volunteer Conference becomes a biennial event, 2020 will be a non-conference year. In the past, this is where national winners received their awards. However, in 2020 we will hold a special event in Spring/Summer 2020 to invite national winners, their nominators and guests to celebrate together. We will share more information about this soon.

Get nominating

Start your new nomination now.

If you have any questions, please contact