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Antrim and Newtownabbey Pay Tribute to Our Volunteers and Young People

Theatre at The Mill was transformed into a traditional gold mine on Thursday evening as we celebrated the Spirit of Volunteering Awards and the Joan Christie Bursary Award Winners from across the Borough – our very own Golden Nuggets!


The Spirit of Volunteering Awards Ceremony recognises people who are committed to helping others, who give up their own precious time to become involved with their communities and who show dedication in their chosen role. 

The Joan Christie Bursary Scheme Awards is to support young people, helping them to ‘Believe, Succeed and Achieve’.  The bursary was set up in honour of Joan Christie CVO OBE, who stepped down from her role as Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for the County of Antrim in June 2019 after 11 years of service.

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Alderman Stephen Ross commented;

“I know that our Borough has a volunteering population to be proud of and I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to all our volunteers for the dedication, time and commitment that they have given for the benefit of others.

"Commitment to volunteering is at the forefront of Council thinking.  In our Community Plan ‘Love Living Here’, the Council has identified the importance of our citizens living in connected and vibrant places." 

The Awards Ceremony was hosted by Claire McCollum and sponsored by:

  • EAD Insurance
  • Rotary International
  • G Force Amusements
  • Castle Mall Shopping
  • Abbeycentre
  • The Junction
  • Policing and Community Safety Partnership
  • Jans

The winners of the Spirit of Volunteering Awards were:

  • Newcomer to Volunteering – Leanne Graham
  • Team Spirit – McMillan Complementary Services
  • Personal Achievement - Gordon Neale, Mens Shed Newtownabbey
  • Covid 19 Community Impact – Good Morning Antrim
  • Young Persons Volunteering – Cora O’Connor, NI Childrens Hospice and Conleth Martin, Mid Antrim Animal Sanctuary (Presented by Grace Hamill in memory of her father and former Mayor, Councillor Paul Hamill)
  • Community Safety – St John Ambulance, Antrim
  • Social and Community Enterprise – Trustees of Antrim Enterprise Agency
  • Lifetime Contribution – Richard Gregory, Mallusk Community Action Group
  • Mayor’s Award – Carnmoney Presbyterian Church
  • Lord Lieutenants Award – South Antrim Community Transport

The Winners of the Mrs Joan Christie Legacy Bursary Schemes Awards were:

  • Special Schools Bursary – Tina Moss, Riverside Special School, Antrim
  • Music Bursary Award for Singing – Aoife Duffin
  • Music Bursary Award for Drums – Matthew Rankin
  • Music Bursary Award for Cellist – Erin Peel
  • Volunteering Award 1 – Nevagh Buckley, Molly and Tom Irvine, Focus Charity Antrim
  • Volunteering Award 2 – Adam McCann and Alex Davidson, Mallusk Harriers