North West Volunteers Receive Millennium Volunteer Awards at Belfast City Hall

Standing out from the Crowd: Eimear Ward from Foyle Parents & Friends celebrates her success at the Millennium Volunteers Awards of Excellence, Belfast City Hall.

400 young people from across Northern Ireland have received their MV Awards of Excellence from the Minister for Education, John O’Dowd MLA at a celebration organised by Volunteer Now and held in Belfast City Hall. The Awards recognise the sustained volunteering commitment given by young people through the Millennium Volunteers Programme. Each young person had given at least 200 hours of their own time, skills and enthusiasm to help individuals or organisations in their community. Speaking at the event the Minister said, “I welcome the opportunity to attend this ceremony and present these well-deserved certificates. Volunteering for 200 hours within a 12-month period is quite an achievement and should be commended and celebrated. I believe it is vitally important that volunteers are recognised, supported and provided with opportunities to develop. I want to take this opportunity to thank the organisations that have supported this programme. Volunteer Now and its delivery partners have done an excellent job in ensuring that volunteers are provided with interesting and fulfilling placements and are supported and encouraged during their voluntary service.”

Wendy Osborne OBE, Chief Executive, Volunteer Now said, “Millennium Volunteers celebrates the achievements gained through volunteering. For many young people this takes the form of personal and skills development which enhance opportunities for further education, career development and personal satisfaction. For many employers and education providers it is the young person’s ability to prove sustained commitment, dedication and a willingness to give of their own time and energy without financial gain which is the attraction. We hear story after story of young people who have gained the dream job or university place as a result of their volunteering experience.”