A Safe Space to be Me were presented with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services (QAVS), the highest award given to charitable organisations, in a special service at Antrim Castle Gardens on Friday 10 September. The Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Councillor WJ Webb MBE JP, led tributes to this group for the excellent work they carry out across the community before Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim Mr David McCorkell KStJ presented the group with their Award.
During the evening a number of volunteers and service users also gave heartfelt testimonials of how the group had inspired them with their selfless work and commitment, making them worthy recipients of this prestigious Queens Award which is known as the MBE for Volunteer Groups. In a fitting gesture all guests attending the event were given a special gift to commemorate World Suicide Prevention Day which also takes place on 10 September. The gift was a poker chip with the groups contact details, the message; ‘Chipping away at Suicide’. Guests were encouraged to pass on the chip to anyone they felt was in need of support in the hope that lives could be saved.
A Safe Space to be Me was founded in 2016 by director Carolyn Tailford and very quickly grew from a small grass roots community group based in Antrim to one that now has 2 main bases and 5 satellite offices across the Northern Trust locality. The group provide Community Support in Antrim, Crumlin and surrounding areas with holistic, wraparound services promoting community cohesion through counselling, life coaching, workshops, food banks and family support.
Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor WJ Webb MBE JP, said;
"I am delighted to have the opportunity to be part of this celebration. I thank you all for making our Borough a better place both in Crumlin and Antrim. Your dedication, commitment and more recently your Covid related support rightly won your group this award.”