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Congratulations to the 14 NI Organisations Who Received The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service!

09 August 2016

The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service is the highest Award given to volunteer groups across the UK - the equivalent to an MBE.

On Monday 25 July 2016 the Volunteer Now Chairperson and Board of Trustees welcomed a number of Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenants and Deputy Lord Lieutenants, the NI representative of the Queens Award for Voluntary Service, staff member from the Department for Communities and volunteers from ten of the fourteen 2016 Award organisations to our offices in Shaftesbury Square for tea and cake, to honour this prestigious recognition and pay tribute to the volunteers involved.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest Award given to volunteer groups across the UK - the equivalent to an MBE.  It is for groups of volunteers who together make a real difference in our communities. It was created by Her Majesty the Queen in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of her Coronation. Volunteer Now has worked closely with Walter Rader OBE, the Northern Ireland Queen’s Award Representative to develop promotional materials, promote the Award and provide support and training to the local Lord Lieutenants, nominators and groups being nominated across all of N Ireland. This was made possible through small grants provided from the then Department for Social Development over the last two years.

At the July event the Chairperson of Volunteer Now, Joe McVey OBE, was delighted to acknowledge that these efforts has been very successful, a few years ago the nominations in NI had dropped to between 6 &12, resulting in 3 to 4 awards. As a result of the increased promotional and support activity in the last two years NI have had 35 nominations resulting in 34 awards. In 2016 the average success rate across the UK was 51% of organisations nominated while NI achieved 70%. It is excellent news that 14 groups have been successful in Northern Ireland this year. Joe went on to comment that ‘linking this to the Volunteering Strategy for NI with its priority to build public recognition for volunteering, the Queens Award for Voluntary Service is a unique, existing vehicle through which to recognise publicly the tremendous level of volunteering which exists across Northern Ireland’.

At the event Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for Co Down, David Lindsay, representing the Lord Lieutenancy in Northern Ireland and Walter Rader the Northern Ireland Queens Award Representative added their congratulations to the groups and paid tribute to the contribution of volunteers to community life. Jack O’Connor from the Department for Communities spoke about the Minister’s regret that due to Executive business he could not join the event as hoped. However Jack passed on the Minister’s best wishes to the groups of volunteers in being recognised for all their excellent work and tireless commitment. Mervyn Storey MLA added his words of congratulations and was delighted to see such a diversity of organisations which showcased  the range of activity that is making a real difference to individuals and communities across N Ireland.

See below for the list of 2016 Queens Award for Voluntary Service awardees. Organisations and volunteers are reminded that the closing date for nominations for the 2017 Queens Voluntary Service Awards is the 16 September www.gov.uk/queens-award-for-voluntary-service

2016 Queens Award for Voluntary Service Groups (NI)

  • Ballinmallard United Football Club
    Provides coaching and community development opportunities in a dispersed, rural area
  • Ballymena Festival of Music, Speech and Dance
    Offers the community opportunities to perform and receive guidance in developing artistic excellence
    Supporting and coaching people with addiction problems towards recovery and improved health using empathy combined
  • County Armagh Community Development
    CACD - assisting those on the margins of society play an active role and integrate in the life of the community
  • Doury Road Development Group
    Dedicated to supporting, developing and improving the quality of life for all residents of the estate
  • Foyle Hospice
    Supporting palliative and end of life care improving the quality of lives for people living with a life limiting illness
  • Foyle Search and Rescue
    A Charity whose sole aim is the Preservation of life in and around the River Foyle
  • Glenarm in Bloom
    Inspired their community by voluntarily restoring their village with imaginative and rewarding floral scheme
  • North Armagh Motorcycle & Car Club (Tarmac Section) Ltd
    Fundraising, organising and operationally delivering the annual Tandragee 100 National Motorcycle Road Races
  • Northern Ireland District of The Boys’ Brigade
    Engaging, encouraging and enabling Boys and Young Men to develop in body, mind, friendship, service and Christian faith
  • Northern Ireland Hospice Volunteers
    Providing an invaluable contribution, support and commitment to people and families in Hospice care
  • SOS NI
    Working together to unconditionally care for the vulnerable, the hungry and the lonely in their time of need
  • The Pushkin Trust
    Enabling communities in Ireland, whether children, teachers or adults, to find and give expression to their unique voice
  • Local Economic Development Company (LEDCOM) Limited
    A community based social enterprise, led by voluntary directors, focused on economic regeneration through community development

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