Storey congratulates Co. Tyrone winners of a national award for Volunteering

Date published: 05 June 2015

Social Development Minister, Mervyn Storey MLA, has paid tribute to the Omagh Ethnic Communities Support Group and SSAFA both of whom recently received the national Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

The 2015 Award recognises the outstanding contribution that volunteers make to their local communities. The volunteering activity carried out by this year’s winners range from health and social care to protecting and enhancing urban areas, rivers and countryside.

Minister Storey said: “This has been an exceptional year for volunteering in Northern Ireland with 15 voluntary groups, the highest number ever, receiving an award for voluntary service from Her Majesty the Queen. All of these organisations must be extremely proud that their invaluable work has been recognised at the very highest level.

“The contribution that volunteers make in society cannot be underestimated. Volunteers give freely of their time, putting their local community at the heart of everything they do. I would like to offer my warmest congratulations to these organisations, and every other volunteering group, and hope that these awards inspire others to participate in volunteering.”

The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work done in their own communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of the Queen's coronation and is regarded as the MBE equivalent for volunteer groups.

Omagh Ethnic Communities Support Group promotes respect for ethnic diversity in a community that is free of racism and discrimination.

SSAFA (Londonderry Division) provides support for the Armed Forces and their families, in Londonderry County and City and in County Tyrone.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The following organisations also received an award:
    • Laurencetown, Lenaderg and Tullyish Community Association
    • Ahoghill in Bloom Team
    • Randalstown Arches Association Limited
    • The Railway Preservation Society of Ireland
    • Care in Crisis
    • Newry and Portadown Branch, Inland Waterways Association of Ireland
    • Redrock Development Partnership Tuesday Club
    • Building Ballysally Together
    • Clooney Hall Volunteer Group
    • Foyle Civic Trust
    • Western Health and Social Care Trust Volunteering Service
    • Age NI
    • Men United
  2. Media enquiries to DSD Press Office on 028 9082 9496 or email For out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715440 and your call will be returned 

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