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Volunteer group ‘clean-up’ with Royal Award

The hard work, dedication and passion of a group of local volunteers for keeping their town blooming and beautiful all-year-round has been rewarded with the highest form of civic recognition.

Members of Tidy Randalstown were presented with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) at the weekend by the Lord Lieutenant for County Antrim, Mr David McCorkell, at a special presentation ceremony in the Theatre at the Mill hosted by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.

Created in 2002 to mark the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation, the QAVS recognises the outstanding work done in local communities and the dedication of local people to local causes. It is the highest civic award given to local volunteer groups across the UK and is considered to be the MBE for volunteer groups.

Welcoming guests to the event, Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Alderman John Smyth said:

“Tidy Randalstown is the epitome of the power of volunteers.

“Their sheer commitment to ensuring their town always looks its very best makes them very worthy and deserving recipients of this wonderful Award and it is my honour and privilege as the Mayor to be hosting this event.

“I cannot think of a group more deserving of this MBE for volunteer groups.”

Addressing the event, Chair of Tidy Randalstown, Helen Boyd, paid tribute to the entire team:

“This award is a tremendous honour and a perfect reflection of the tireless hard work and dedication of the entire Tidy Randalstown team.

“It is your commitment and involvement that has made this all possible and helps make Randalstown a beautiful place to live in and visit. It is my absolute pleasure to work with you all and to say a sincere thank you to each and every one of you.

“Your sense of purpose and community makes our town what it is and we are all honoured to be part of Tidy Randalstown with you.”

Those in attendance also heard from the volunteers who help make Tidy Randalstown so successful and enjoyed a short film about the work of the group.

Formally constituted in 2013, Tidy Randalstown has grown rapidly over the last six years from a small handful of volunteers into a multifaceted organisation with at least seven different teams with their own individual responsibilities.

The group works all year round to ensure the busy town is always adorned with eye-catching floral displays and features to welcome residents and visitors alike.

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