Two of Coleraine’s Riding for the Disabled volunteers have been named Justice Champions’ for services to their community at an awards ceremony in Parliament Buildings.
Albert Clyde and Michelle Scott received one of the three accolades of Justice Champion in recognition of their work in helping offenders rehabilitate back into the community. They received £500 to invest in equipment or services to benefit their local community.
The Justice in the Community Awards recognise individuals and teams, voluntary workers and staff working within community and statutory organisations across Northern Ireland.
This year money from the Assets Recovery Community Scheme will be returned to the community through these awards.
Justice Minister, David Ford, said: “These awards are an opportunity to showcase the exceptional work that is going on within the heart of our community, often by volunteers, working quietly and diligently in the background making Northern Ireland a safer place for everyone. These people are truly inspirational and should be applauded.
“I am pleased to be able to reward those who want to do good for the community by giving back proceeds from assets seized from the hands of criminals.”
Albert and Michelle were recognised for their significant role in working with offenders to inspire them to change. RDA provides therapy, achievement and enjoyment for individuals with physical, learning and mental disabilities through equestrian activities.
The work is undertaken by a dedicated team of selfless volunteers who are accepted on their ability and motivation to help others.
Placements are also offered to offenders serving community sentences.
Through Albert and Michelle’s personal engagement offenders have gone on to attain qualifications offered at the Centre; gained full time employment and put their offending behaviour behind them.