At the 2011 Mayor's Awards for Volunteering held recently at Lagan Valley Island are the nominees for the Adult Volunteer Category with (front row 1.r) Ms Wendy Osbourne OBE; the Mayor of Lisburn, Alderman Paul Porter; Social Development Minister Mr Alex Attwood MLA and Mr John Day, compere at the Awards Gala Dinner.
THE very best individual volunteers and volunteering organisations from across the city attended the prestigious Mayor's Awards for Volunteers at Lagan Valley Island recently.
Over 45 nominees across all of the award categories were presented with a certificate and all nominees and their nominators were invited to the event along with elected representatives.
The Adult Volunteer of the Year award went to Cecil Walker from Lisburn Cricket Club and the Young Volunteer of the Year award was presented to Emma O'Neill from the Glenavy Youth Project.
The Supporting Volunteering Award for a small group went to Dunmurry Community Association and the Supporting Volunteering Award for a large group was presented to Lisburn Citizens Advice Bureau.
Speaking about the event Mayor of Lisburn, Alderman Paul Porter, said: "I found the evening to be quite overwhelming despite being very aware of all the good work that takes place regularly in the Lisburn area. "During my term as Mayor one of my objectives was to promote the importance of the voluntary sector within Lisburn and this event is just one of the means I have utilised.
"There was a wealth of people in the Island Hall of varying ages, with every person there contributing to society in some way through volunteering. I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of Lisburn's volunteers for giving up their time as this is what makes our communities great.
With the Mayor of Lisburn, Alderman Paul Porters are the winners of each of the four categories at the 2011 Mayor's Awards for Volunteering held recently at Lagan Valley Island, Lisburn. Present are: (1-r) Mr. Cecil Walker, Lisburn Cricket Club who won Adult Volunteer of the Year; Ms. Wendy 0sbourne 0BE, Volunteer Now; Mr. Michael McCartney representing the Lisburn Citizens Advice Bureau which won Supporting Volunteer (Large Group); Ms Emma O'Neill, Glenavy Youth Project, who won Young Volunteer of the Year; Mr. John Daly, compere at Awards Gala dinner and Ms. Evelyn Bronson representing Dunmurry Community Association which won Supporting Volunteer (Small Group).
"The rationale of the Council in operating this Awards scheme is to give something back to the people who sacrifice their free time to help others either at home or in the community. These are the unsung heroes in our City, with so much valuable work depending on their voluntary effort and it is a privilege for Lisburn City Council to honour their dedication.
"Congratulations are due to Cecil, Emma, Dunmurry Community Association and Lisburn Citizens Advice Bureau," he concluded.
Speaking at the Awards, Social Development Minister Alex Attwood praised local volunteers and the Council and said: "Volunteerism is a fantastic tradition and a glue that holds this community together. Each person can make such a massive contribution to their community, everyone has the ability to offer something and together that makes the community a strong and safer place to live and work.
"When you volunteer, you make a positive contribution every day about the kind of community you want to live in. Volunteers deserve praise but that's not why they do it, they do it because they want to. That's the magic of it."
The Mayor also expressed appreciation to the event's partners, Volunteer Now, South Eastern Education and Library Board and the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust for their input to the Awards.