The council welcomed volunteers from the long-established Lisburn Gateway Club to Lagan Valley Island recently to mark their significant contribution to the local area.
Established in 1970, the group provides leisure activities for adults with learning disabilities. It is run entirely by 23 volunteers, who work with 80 adults.
Speaking at the reception, Deputy Mayor Hazel Legge said: “I am delighted to formally recognise the contribution of the Lisburn Gateway Volunteers over the past 48 years. The council is always keen to recognise volunteers within the Lisburn Castlereagh area as these individuals show true commitment, enthusiasm and selflessness in helping others.”
Lisburn Gateway Club runs a diverse programme of events throughout the year, ranging from cooking to movie nights, quizzes to line dancing and craft nights to tenpin bowling.
Alderman James Tinsley, who presented Stephen Lenaghan with an award to recognise the invaluable contribution of all Lisburn Gateway Club volunteers, added: “As a group run entirely by volunteers I appreciate there is a strong reliance on donations and fundraising to keep your club in operation. You have a significant number of members and this is a real testament to the commitment of your volunteers who run the events and also provide days out and away. It is very important that adults with learning disabilities get to socialise, learn new skills, gain confidence and independence, all of which Lisburn Gateway Club assists with.
“All your good work is a lifeline to your members and their extended families who rely on your support. It is remarkable that a number of the volunteers have been with the club for over 30 years. Please keep up the good work that you do as it is a vital support network to the wider Lisburn area.”