The Queen’s Award is the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK and recognises the hours of work dedicated to the organisation by volunteers. The NSSA being one of 281 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. Created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, it aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities.

Established in 1959, the NSSA has taught thousands of adults and young people to sail over the years, many of whom have gone on to enjoy success in the sport. Today, volunteers work hard to maintain the Training Centre and raise funds to update the boats and equipment. 

The Norfolk Schools Sailing Association’s purpose is not simply to teach young people to sail, but to equip them with valuable, transferable life skills. In particular, the NSSA want to raise the aspirations, improve the life chances and increase the social mobility of those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds. 

News of the Award added to the special celebrations for the NSSA’s 60th Anniversary later this Summer. Jeremy Mills, RYA Principal at the NSSA, and Sue Head, RYA Chief Instructor at the NSSA (pictured) attended the garden party at Buckingham Palace on behalf of the NSSA, along with other recipients of the award. Representatives of the NSSA will receive the award from the Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk later this summer.

Jeremy said of the Award: “We are delighted to have been honoured with this award. It is recognition of the outstanding commitment of our dedicated team of volunteers. It is also fantastic to receive the award in our 60th Anniversary year as we launch a major appeal to secure the next 60 years.”

Robbie Bell, Regional Development Officer for the East added: “This award is great news for both the NSSA and sailing within the Region, and is thoroughly deserved by the hardworking team at Filby, who dedicate many hours to enable people in the Region to be introduced to and continue to enjoy sailing.”

To find out more about the Norfolk School Sailing Association, visit For more information about sailing in the East region visit