Wholeschool Portal | Home 24 February 2018
Gold Millennium Volunteers Awards in Belfast City Hall

Eight sixth form students from Ballymena Academy were presented with their Gold 200 hours Millennium Volunteers Awards at a ceremony in the City Hall on Thursday 2nd March.


Abby Morgan, Adam Pidgeon, Charlotte Larkin, Clare Surgenor, Katie Johnston, Katie McKay,

Sophie Laverick and Victoria McLean had all completed 200 hours of volunteering in their local community over the past two years.


Therese Crossan, 2015 #iwill ambassador, acted as compère for the evening and introduced Alderman Brian Kingston, Lord Mayor of Belfast who welcomed award recipients and their families from all over Northern Ireland.

Martins Zilinskis from Latvia spoke of his involvement with the European Voluntary Service and encouraged the young people to take the opportunity to get involved with this organisation.

Four students from Rainey Endowed School, Magherafelt then gave an account of volunteering overseas with ASHA in New Delhi. The girls spoke with passion about the people they had met, experiences they had shared and the pleasure they had in undertaking this trip.

Keynote speaker for the evening was Judith Cochrane, whose organisation supports people into work by connecting people and their skills with job opportunities. She spoke of the importance of developing resilience and how volunteering helps individuals to do this. Judith encouraged the young people to look back, look around and look forward: look back to what you have achieved, look around at the people you have met and experiences you have gained and look forward to the possibilities for the future. She said that, on Election Day, it was appropriate to say that as people volunteer they choose to vote for their communities every day by giving their time to help others.

Kelsey Gillespie of Hunterhouse College, one of the 200 hours award recipients shared ever experienced of volunteering with Girls' Brigade and Ulster Rugby. Her talk focused on how it may be bad news that time flies, but the good news is that you are the pilot.

Singer and musician Claire Louise Turner entertained the audience prior to the presentation of certificates.

The awards were presented by Judith Cochrane and Wendy Osbourne of Volunteer Now concluded by thanking everyone for their support.


Ballymena Academy is delighted that its pupils have contributed so much to both the school community and organisations both locally and overseas. Abby, Adam, Charlotte, Clare, Katie, Katie, Sophie and Victoria have volunteered at a vast range of activities including summer schemes and camps, youth clubs, Sunday School, Connor Youth Forum, Streetreach, Women's Aid, Prospect Nursing Home, Girls' Brigade, Army Cadet Force, Hope for Youth, The Dojo, Randalstown FPC, Holiday Bible Club, Spark, AIM and Crosskennan Lane Animal Sanctuary. The following school activities have also benefitted from their involvement - YES, Open Nights, Cancer Research Committee, Senior CU and weekly prefect duty.

Report and photographs thanks to Miss Bassett.