At the "Mayor's Award for Volunteering"
ceremony are the award nominees US1707-409PM Pic by Paul Murphy
LISBURN celebrated the efforts of the city's
unsung heroes at a gala dinner and awards ceremony last week
when the Mayor's Award for Volunteering was held in Lagan Valley
The event, comp�red by Nuala McKeever, was
attended by almost 60 volunteers who were nominated by members
of public for their contribution to the local community.
The Group Volunteer of the Year award was won
by Youth Initiatives Service Team in recognition of the diverse
range of volunteering opportunities they provide and the support
structure they have in place for the volunteers.
The Adult Volunteer of the Year award went to
Henry Phillips for his contribution to local community
development. Henry has dedicated an astounding 50 years to
volunteering and is instrumental in organising various
cross-community events and festivals. He has supported and
developed organisations such as Lisburn Community Forum, Glenavy
Development Partnership and many more.
The Young Volunteer of the Year award went to
Conor McCarthy who volunteers within the Sally Gardens Community
Centre. Conor has worked among other volunteers to help, support
and raise awareness of community issues and to create positive
alternatives to anti-social behaviour.
During the evening, graduates from the
Lisburn City Council and Northern Ireland Tenants Action Project
Community Capacity Building Course were also presented with
their course certificates.
The Mayor Councillor Trevor Lunn congratulated
all of the nominees:
"Volunteering is such an important part of
building and sustaining communities within our City, and tonight
we are recognising and expressing our appreciation of the
diverse range of activities and opportunities that all our
nominees are currently involved in" he said.
"This event has not only helped showcase the
work of volunteers, it has also provided an opportunity for
volunteers to link with other groups, share ideas and network."
Proud winners delighted with awards
ADULT Volunteer of the Year winner Henry
Phillips said he was amazed to be chosen. "I'm absolutely
flabbergasted, I wasn' expecting it at all," the long-serving
commu nity worker said. "The award was a complete surprise."
Henry, who has been a volunteer for 50 years, was honoured for
his community work with the Lisburn Community Forum and the
Glenavy Development Partnership amongst others.
Lisburn Mayor Councillor Trevor Lunn presenting the
Adult Volunteer of the Year Award for 2007 to Henry
Phillips for 50 years service in the local
community,Young Volunteer of the Year Conor
McCarthy,Sally Gardens Community Centre, Polegless and
Group Volunteer of The Year Youth Services Iniatives
Team Debbie Byrne with compere Nuala McKeever.
He said, "I see the award as being an award
for the groups I've been working with. The Lisburn Community
Forum and the Glenavy Development Partnership have been great
with the help and assistance I get from all the people who
attend, this wouldn't have been possible without the other
officers and members."
He continued, "I think it is a great idea to
have this dinner - I was impressed there were so many young
people involved in volunteering, that was one of the highlights
for me. I hope the awards encourage other people to become
The Young Volunteer of the Year winner also
said he was delighted to have been chosen. 16-year-old Conor
McCarthy, who is a volunteer at the Sally Gardens Community
Centre commented, "I've been a volunteer for nearly a year
helping out with the kids, I just wanted to help within the
community." Colin Fanning, Project Co-ordinator with Youth
Initiatives, the Group Volunteer of the Year 2007 award winners
said everyone involved with the group is thrilled with the
"It's fantastic," he said, "This is the
second year we've been in the running but we had no idea we'd
"We've just got sponsorship from the
Department for Social Development to fund our volunteer
development work, on top of this its been an amazing year for
our volunteers. This is great recognition for our volunteers, we
now have over 60 of them who are giving up their time every
week, we're delighted."