Queens Award for Voluntary Service

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.

Queens Award for Voluntary ServiceAge 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.’


Video: Volunteer Celebration


Santander staff volunteer at Age NI day centres

A team of volunteers with the Santander Discovery Day project took part in a range of fun activities at Anna House & Skainos recently including indoor planting, sing-a-longs, armchair aerobics, origami, magic, quizzes and more!

Santander Bank, our new charity partner, has a Discovery Foundation that provides charities like Age NI with up to £5,000 to support projects that help disadvantaged people build skills, grow knowledge, or support social change.

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Dame Mary Peters Gets Set for Community Action

Age NI teamed up with former Olympic athlete Dame Mary Peters and Belfast’s Model School for Girls on Wednesday to take part in Get Set for Community Action, an UK wide intergenerational initiative created by the British Olympic Foundation and British Paralympic Association (supported by the Big Lottery). The programme provides opportunities for older people and younger people to get involved in the community by promoting physical activity and healthy eating.

A group from our Skainos day centre in East Belfast and children from Hillcroft, a school for children with special needs, also took part in a morning of fun and healthy activities which included quoits, tic tac toe, boccia and the egg and spoon race.

Dame Mary Peters, commented, ‘I’m delighted to support the participation of Age NI and the Girls Model School in the Get Set Programme in Northern Ireland. It’s wonderful to see older people from our local Age NI day centre and young students from the school demonstrating the values of the Olympics here today. Contribution, participation and support across the generations is fundamental to a happier, healthier and more active society.’

Read more about Get Set for Community Action


Santander Flame Relay

This week, Age NI helped to kick off the Santander Flame Relay, an annual fundraising challenge taking place in branches across NI and UK as part of a three year charity partnership with Santander, Age UK and Barnardos. Santander will match any amounts raised and Age NI will benefit from the proceeds.

Bank employees, along with volunteers, have been getting involved in various events and activi-ties to raise money, and of course, to welcome the flame which has travelled hundreds of miles already before reaching its final destination in

Milton Keynes later this month. The Bangor branch will host a series of fun activities including spinning as part of today’s Store Wars Challenge. An update will follow next week.

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DJ Johnny Seeds dances for Age NI

Will you dance with Jonny? Local DJ Jonny Seeds has started a Dance Nomination fundraiser for Age NI on Facebook! After finding out about the work we do to support lonely people, he’s encouraging people to get dancing for Age NI – post a video, nominate friends and make a donation. Pease share video with your friends, family and work contacts to help build some momentum around Jonny’s fundraising. What tune gets you on the dance floor?


To volunteer, fill out the volunteer form, telephone 028 9024 5729 or email [email protected]