Like so many cadet force and youth group events, the CVQO Westminster Award has experienced disruption due to COVID-19. This communication is intended to bring you up to speed with our plans to keep this wonderful Award going into 2021 and well beyond.
In early March we made the difficult decision to postpone our annual selection week in Somerset, which would usually take place in mid-April. We had hoped to move the event to late October and hold the House of Lords Awards Ceremony in December. However, following government advice it has become clear that it will not be possible to manage this in a safe and responsible way.
Learner safety and wellbeing is CVQO’s top priority and remains our primary concern when running any type of event. That said, we are pleased to announce our alternative plans for the Westminster Award.
No further Westminster Award events will take place in 2020 and there will not be a 2020 winner of the Award. We will, however, be opening nominations for the 2021 Award in November as usual.
All 2020 selection event finalists will have the opportunity to attend selection in April 2021, along with nominees for the 2021 Award. This event will be expanded to accommodate both years accordingly, and age restrictions for the 2020 finalists will be waived where necessary. We will then hold the House of Lords Award Ceremony as usual in June 2021.
Unfortunately, it is looking increasingly unlikely that we will be allowed to travel to South Africa in 2021 and it is doubtful, even if we are, that clearance will be given in time for everything to be organised. CVQO is therefore looking at alternative options for the finalists to experience the uniqueness of the Westminster Award.
The alternative July 2021 trip will encompass the spirit, adventure and community-focused nature of South Africa while providing a totally different experience.
So, to recap:
- There will be no further Westminster Award events in 2020 and no winner of the 2020 Award
- Nominations for the 2021 event will open as usual later in 2020
- Finalists who were due to attend selection in 2020 will be eligible to join the 2021 event
- There will be no South Africa trip in July 2021, but an alternative experience is being planned
Thank you for your support of CVQO and the Westminster Award during this difficult time. It is very much appreciated and we look forward to continuing the tradition of this brilliant competition, albeit in a slightly different form.