Queen’s Award for Building Ballysally team

The Ballysally estate in Coleraine.
The Ballysally estate in Coleraine.

A Coleraine voluntary group is among 15 from across Northern Ireland that have been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

The accolade is the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

The Building Ballysally Together was set up to improve the health and social well being of residents with a number of projects on the Coleraine estate.

Schemes have included a healthy eating cafe, the creation of a community fruit and veg garden.craft and educational classes.

The Ballysally project are among 180 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups around the country to receive the prestigious award this year.

.The Queen’s Award is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work in their communities.

The awards were created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and winners are announced each year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. All organisations will receive their awards from the Lord Lieutenant later this summer.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Committee Chair, former broadcast journalist Martyn Lewis CBE said: “I warmly congratulate all of the inspirational voluntary groups who have been rewarded for their community work with a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

“The judging panel for this year’s awards were struck by the quality and breadth of all the successful groups. The thousands of volunteers who give up spare time to help others in their community and to help solve problems demonstrates the best of democracy in action.”

Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson, said: ““The hard work and commitment that goes into the work of these organisations is surpassed only by the passion and motivation of the individuals who volunteer. I hope these groups continue to inspire others to get involved and make a positive impact so that we can continue to build a bigger, stronger society.”