Prestigious accolade presented to Rathfern community volunteers

Members of Rathfern Community Regeneration Group were presented with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service on Saturday, August 21.

Thursday, 26th August 2021, 2:59 pm

Hosted by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, the presentation ceremony took place at Rathfern Social Activity Centre where the volunteer group received their special award from the Lord Lieutenant of County Antrim, Mr David McCorkell.

It was announced that the group was to receive the accolade earlier this summer. For more on this, read hereCreated in 2002 to mark the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation, The Queen’s Award recognises the outstanding work done in local communities and the dedication of local people to local causes.

It is the highest civic award given to local volunteer groups across the UK and is considered to be the MBE for volunteer groups.

Megan Beattie and George Hill accepting the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service on behalf Rathfern Community Regeneration Group. They are joined by the Lord Lieutenant of County Antrim, Mr David McCorkell, Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Billy Webb and Cadet Ciara McKay.

The award holds extra significance this year as 20 of the group’s volunteers also received a special badge in recognition of their voluntary work undertaken during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Commenting at the presentation event, Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Cllr Billy Webb said: “Rathfern Community Regeneration Group is the epitome of volunteering.

“Their sheer commitment to delivering projects and initiatives that benefit the local community and the environment makes them very worthy recipients of this wonderful award and it is my honour as Mayor to be here today.”

Receiving the award on behalf of the group, Chairman George Hill added: “As a community organisation based in Rathfern, we are honoured and extremely proud to receive this award.

“Our success is due to the large number of volunteers who arrive each week to contribute to the wellbeing of local families, senior citizens and children of all ages through the Rathfern Social Activity Centre.

“This award is not for any individual in the group, but it is an example of how partnership working can be used to the benefit of an entire community.

“We are delighted that our group’s work has been recognised in this way, and I would like to pay tribute to all our volunteers for giving their time, dedication and commitment to the group over the past number of years.”

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