As the leading charity for older people in Northern Ireland, Age NI has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
Age NI delivers care services, provides advice and advocacy, offers products and services and influences local decision-makers to create a world where everyone can love later life. It provides a range of vital services for older people including an advice and advocacy service, domiciliary care and day centres. Last year Age NI received over 10,000 calls to its advice service and delivered 500,000 hours of direct care to older people. With the support of more than 300 volunteers, the charity supports the growing and varied needs of people in later life.
Age NI is one of 187 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of awards handed out to groups have increased by over 60% from 2014, due to an increase in high quality applications, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to tackle community challenges.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 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. Award winners this year range from Ablaze, a charity helping to raise academic achievement amongst disadvantaged young people in Bristol to a volunteer rescue boat service on Loch Lomond. Age NI will receive the award from the Lord Lieutenant Mrs Fionnuala Jay O’Boyle CBE 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 demonstrate the best of democracy in action.’
Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson, said:
‘I would like to congratulate all groups who received this year’s Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, in recognition of their fantastic achievements. 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.’
Linda Robinson, Age NI Chief Executive said:
‘We are delighted to receive this award. It demonstrates the positive impact of our work all over Northern Ireland and shines a very bright spotlight on our incredible volunteers who donate their time and energy in so many ways. We hope that this award encourages even more people to volunteer with Age NI to help us achieve our vision of a world where everyone can love later life.’