Three County Armagh groups have been presented with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service at a presentation at the Palace Demesne.
They were Care in Crisis, the Newry and Portadown branch of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland, and Redrock Development Partnership’s Tuesday Club.
The ceremony was conducted by The Lord Lieutenant of County Armagh, The Earl of Caledon and hosted by The Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Darryn Causby.
Also present were the Countess of Caledon, deputy lieutenants, councillors and representatives of the three groups.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award presented to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work done in their communities.
It was created in 2002 as part of the celebrations for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and as a national honour is the equivalent in rank to that of an MBE.
Care in Crisis work with residents experiencing high levels of deprivation over a prolonged period of time. The group provides counselling and an emotional and psychological support service to vulnerable people of all ages.
Redrock Development Partnership’s Tuesday Club provide regular social occasions for more than 100 pensioners living in rural areas, reducing feelings of isolation. Informative talks are provided by suitable professions to identify and discuss issues impacting the older generation.
The Newry and Portadown Branch of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland have worked to restore the Newry Portadown Canal to a navigable waterway linking in to the all-island network of canals.
Work by the volunteers ranges from practical clean-ups and environmental enhancement to high quality contemporary technology based projects. Numbers using the canal towpath have increased significantly as a result of the enhancement.
Lord Caledon said, “These three outstanding groups represent the very highest standards in voluntary work, dedication to others and selfless commitment to the community.
“Volunteers and voluntary services form the backbone of our province - and I should like to express my gratitude to them for their considerable achievements and for the valuable work they continue to carry out.”
Lord Mayor Causby said, “We are very proud to have no less than three groups from County Armagh being recognised for their amazing work, with Her Majesty The Queen endorsing their contribution to our society.”