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Muckamore Parish Development Association awarded first King’s Award in the Borough

Muckamore Parish Development Association (MPDA) became the first voluntary group in the Borough to receive the King’s Award for Voluntary Service. The group received “the MBE for Volunteer Groups” from the Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim, Mr David McCorkell KStJ at a special event held by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council in The Old Courthouse, Antrim on 1 March 2024.

MPDA has been in existence for 16 years and during this time has carried out a range of projects which have positively impacted their local community, particularly in the Ballycraigy area. For many years all this wonderful work was carried out by a small group of dedicated volunteers and in recent years the employment of part-time staff, the establishment of the new community hub and the recruitment of more volunteers has increased the scope of this work.

The group has been instrumental in providing essential community services, ranging from sensory play for children with additional needs to one-to-one support services. They work to improve the wellbeing of both families and individuals by collaborating with and signposting to local services, providing a foodbank, hosting an after-school club and establishing the Muckamore Friendship Group for older people. MPDA also offer skills and training to improve employability and youth activities to build resilience and improve life and health outcomes.  

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Mark Cooper BEM said, “I would like to congratulate the Chairperson, Trustees and Volunteers of Muckamore Parish Development Association for the contribution they have made, and continue to make in Ballycraigy and the surrounding areas.

“Their detailed knowledge of the needs of the community and passion to see these needs met has allowed the volunteers to develop strong trusting and supportive relationships with those in the local community.

“The volunteers are the foundation of the organisation and the driving force behind every activity, event and service delivered. Their compassion and generous devotion is inspirational.”

Created in 2002 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee and previously known as The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS), the Award has been shining a light on the fantastic work of voluntary groups from all across the UK for many years. For more details on the Award visit www.kavs.dcms.gov.uk