Education Minister congratulates young volunteers

Date published: 17 February 2016

Education Minister John O’Dowd has congratulated 960 young people on volunteering excellence.

The young volunteers, aged from 14-24, were being recognised for 200 hours of volunteering at the Millennium Volunteers Awards of Excellence ceremony in Armagh Planetarium.

Speaking at the event Minister O’Dowd said:

“Tonight’s event is just one of six that will see 960 young people from across the North receive a 200 Hour Goldmark Award.

“Volunteering for 200 hours is quite a contribution and I want to thank you for the time and effort you have given to your communities. I never fail to be impressed by the enthusiasm, passion and commitment of young people. Those receiving awards have set an example for all of us and rightly deserve recognition.

“I would also like to thank the organisations that have offered support. Volunteer Now and its delivery partners have done an excellent job of encouraging young people on the Millennium Volunteers programme. During its 16 years in operation here, 10,305 young people have received their 200 hours Awards of Excellence.”

Continuing Minister O’Dowd said:

“Of course, volunteering not only benefits the recipient, but also the volunteer. It provides opportunities to develop learning and skills and establish new friendships. Employers, training providers and universities are keen to hear from young people about their voluntary experience, and for good reason. These attributes and achievements are valuable commodities in the economy of education and employment and can be invaluable in the future.

“Well done and I hope this does not mark the end of your volunteering experiences.”

Wendy Osborne, CEO at Volunteer Now added:

“Volunteer Now is delighted that in the past year so many young people from across Northern Ireland have received their 200 Hour MV Award for volunteering in the community. A staggering total of 192,000 hours of volunteer service - what an achievement, well done to all our Millennium Volunteers - you are awesome!”

Notes to editors: 

1. The Department of Education’s ‘Education Works’ campaign promotes the value of education. This year’s campaign aims to ensure that parents have information on schooling and that they are aware of the steps they can take to ‘Get Involved’ and support their teenager in achieving good outcomes at school. Watch out for the ads on television, radio and outdoor locations. The campaign highlights the vital role families can play in helping children do well at school and improve their life chances. Visit nidirect - Education Works for more information or watch the TV ad on the Department’s YouTube channel.

2. See photos from the Department of Education in our flickr collection.

3. Media enquiries to the Department of Education Press Office Tel: 028 9127 9207. Out of office hours, contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 99 715 440, and your call will be returned.

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