Dreamscheme wins prestigious Queen's Award for Voluntary Service - recognising 'outstanding' volunteer groups

Dreamscheme is one of 241 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious Queen's award this year.

Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 5:53 pm
Updated Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 5:56 pm
Dreamscheme work within a range of communities and schools in Castlereagh and Belfast,

‘The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities.

It was created in 2002 to celebrate The Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Recipients are announced each year on 2nd June, the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation.

Representatives of Dreamscheme Northern Ireland will receive the award crystal and certificate from Mrs Fionnuala Jay-O’Boyle CBE, Lord-Lieutenant of Belfast, later this summer.

Dreamscheme has been awarded the prestigious Queen's Award for Voluntary Service - recognising 'outstanding' volunteer groups

Furthermore, two volunteers from Dreamscheme will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2022, depending on restrictions at the time, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.

At Dreamscheme, the aim is to make a long-term, positive difference in the lives of at-risk young people. The team works within a range of communities and schools in Castlereagh and Belfast, providing more than 300 young people each year with support and opportunities.

In normal times, this includes street work, drop-in spaces, learning sessions, individual mentoring, education trips, overnight residentials, community service and leadership development.

Throughout the pandemic, the team of local volunteers showed incredible commitment to young people, connecting with them over Zoom group calls, meeting them outdoors for walks whenever possible, and sharing fun videos and encouragement over social media.

At Dreamscheme, the aim is to make a long-term, positive difference in the lives of at-risk young people

The team also delivered gift hampers to young people during the most severe lockdowns and also helped out delivering essential supplies to local communities.

Stephen Mullan, Chief Executive of Dreamscheme Northern Ireland, said: ‘‘Since Dreamscheme was established in 2004, volunteers have been at the very centre of our work.

‘‘In the past year, our 35 volunteers have given 4000+ hours in voluntary service. Many have supported young people directly in one of our local youth groups, while others have provided vital support behind the scenes.

‘‘We have always appreciated the great work of our volunteers, so we were thrilled to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service during Volunteers Week 2021.

‘‘This prestigious award publicly recognises the outstanding contribution of our volunteers – both past and present.’’

There were further celebrations in Lisburn last week when it was revealed that Atlas Women’s Centre is also to receive the prestigious Queen’s Award, in addition to Dromore charity Via Wings.