Felicity Kendal and Myleene Klass among celebrity judges for new Jubilee project

The Platinum Champions Awards will recognise extraordinary volunteers from across the UK.

The Duchess of Cornwall will reside over the star-studded judging panel (Paul Edwards/The Sun/PA)

By Connie Evans, PA Entertainment Reporter

Felicity Kendal and Myleene Klass are among the famous faces announced as judges for the Royal Voluntary Service’s new Platinum Champions Awards.

The national volunteering charity has launched a new official Jubilee project to invite people across the UK to nominate extraordinary volunteers.

With the charity’s president the Duchess of Cornwall residing over the star-studded judging panel, 70 outstanding volunteers will be selected from 490 finalists that will be recognised as the Platinum Champions.

Myleene Klass will be among the celebrity judges helping to choose the Platinum Champions (Matt Crossick/PA)

The celebrity judges include Ade Adepitan, Alex Jones, Elaine Paige, Gethin Jones, Gyles Brandreth and Tom Read Wilson, who will all help to decide the Platinum Champions from a selection of 490 finalists.

The celebrity judges will work alongside volunteering specialists, charity leaders and academics to select the champions across seven categories.

The deadline for the Platinum Champions Awards has been extended to April 18 and people are being encouraged to take advantage of the new deadline and nominate volunteers amongst their friends and family.

During the pandemic I did a lot of work in food banks and saw first-hand so many brilliant people step up to support their communities

Gethin Jones

Singer and presenter Klass, 44, will judge the young people and children category, she said: “As a proud member of the Platinum Champions Awards judging panel, I would love to hear about the volunteers that are going the extra mile to support children and young people.

“I’ve no doubt this will be a tricky category to judge, as I know that there are so many superhero volunteers out there making a difference to the lives, happiness and health of children, which is something I’m incredibly passionate about.”

The BBC’s The One Show and Morning Live are the official broadcast partners of the awards, with hosts Alex and Gethin also featuring on the judging panel.

Morning Live presenter Gethin said: “I’m really excited to be judging the ‘crisis and welfare’ category. During the pandemic I did a lot of work in food banks and saw first-hand so many brilliant people step up to support their communities.

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“It’s those people that have gone the extra mile to make a remarkable difference that we’re looking for, and we can’t wait to see who you are going to nominate.”

Kendal, 75, who achieved recognition for her role in The Good Life, will help judge the NHS and social care category. She said: “The Platinum Champions Awards are such a wonderful project. I think that appreciating the selfless efforts of volunteers is becoming more and more important.

“As an ambassador for Royal Voluntary Service, I’ve seen for myself what an extraordinary impact volunteers can have on the lives of others. I would love to hear about volunteers that are bringing that personal touch and warmth to their volunteering, as I think that is so very important in the modern world that we live in.”

Felicity Kendal will help to judge the NHS and social care category (Ian West/PA)

Other stars showing up to support the project include Phillip Schofield and Oti Mabuse.

Former Strictly Come Dancing star and Platinum Champions Awards ambassador Mabuse, 31, said: “I’m so excited to be supporting Royal Voluntary Service’s Platinum Champions Awards. The Jubilee is the perfect moment of celebration to thank all the amazing people that donate their time to help others and to bring our communities together.”

The 70 most outstanding volunteers will be invited to celebrate at an official jubilee event, a special edition of The Big Jubilee Lunch at a London location on June 5.

To nominate a volunteer for the Platinum Champions Awards, visit: royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/platinum-champions-awards.

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