Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council has held a civic reception to recognise the achievements of the Northern Ireland District of the Boys’ Brigade, which has received the Queen’s Award for Volunteering.
The Boys’ Brigade, alongside other voluntary uniformed youth organisations, was awarded the Freedom of the City of Lisburn in 2014.
Alderman James Tinsley, who hosted the reception, said: “It was a pleasure to host a reception to recognise the fact that the BB was recently awarded this ‘Oscar’ in the field of voluntary service.
“In 2014, the Council awarded the Freedom of the City to the BB and other like-minded uniformed organisations in recognition of the important part they play in shaping our young people.
“I welcome the excellent work this organisation carries out, helping to shape our young people, encouraging them to be responsible adults in terms of developing their communication, social and team-working skills alongside their confidence, co-ordination, respect for others and life skills. With all the pressures of modern society on young people, these skills have never before been so important.
“The council values the role of voluntary organisations to the civic and community life of the city. I would like to thank the officers, staff and young people of the BB for all their hard work and on behalf of the council congratulate you all on receiving the Queen’s Award for Volunteering.”
The Boys’ Brigade, has been working with countless young people for more than 130 years and celebrated its 125th Anniversary in Ireland in 2013. Its new headquarters relocated to Hillsborough in 2014.
Jonathan Gracey, Director for Northern Ireland, thanked the council for acknowledging the work of the BB. “On behalf of Northern Ireland District of The Boys’ Brigade, I want to thank the Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council for holding a Civic Reception to recognise the receipt of this award,” he said. “Each week, almost 2,700 volunteer leaders deliver invaluable youth and children’s work in almost 300 BB Companies throughout Northern Ireland – with just a few weeks off over the summer months.
“During the reception, it was humbling to listen to some of those volunteers recount their personal stories and experiences of working with young people in the BB. The Boys’ Brigade is a great youth organisation, founded on Christian principles and served by dedicated, self-less, talented, volunteer leaders whom we are blessed to have.”