Local groups scoop the Queen's Awards for Voluntary Service
The gong, created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, is the highest award which UK volunteer groups can receive in recognition of their outstanding work in their communities.
The awards will be officially presented by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for County Antrim, Joan Christie, later this month.
The two local groups are among 193 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups across the UK to receive the prestigious award this year.
LEDCOM is one of Northern Ireland’s leading Local Enterprise Agencies (LEAs) with an extensive track record in local economic development.
Since its formation in 1985 it has provided over 10,000 mentoring/information/ advice/training sessions, helping over 900 new start-up business, supporting over 1500 jobs.
Ken Nelson, chief executive of the company, said: “LEDCOM is the first enterprise centre in Northern Ireland to receive the Queen’s Award.
“It is a great tribute to our directors, who are all volunteers and have given their time, experience and skills to help people find employment and train in new skills.”
Meanwhile, co-founder of Glenarm in Bloom Frances Wilson said the regeneration group was “thrilled and delighted” to receive the award.
“I am very proud of the whole group, over the moon,” she stated.
“On behalf of the group I would like to thank all those who have supported us: Larne Parks Department, Glenarm Village Committee, the village youth club, local churches, and all the villagers.
“I would also like to thank the other four stalwart workers for their hard work over the years: my husband Jackie, who co-founded the group with me, Charles and Rosaleen Mayben and Alan Nesbitt.
“I am very proud that we were even acknowledged to be put forward and I’m more than delighted that we have won the award.”
Fellow Glenarm in Bloom volunteer Rosaleen Meban described the royal recognition as an “honour.”
“I am really proud for everyone in the group,” she stated.
“It has really made a big difference to the Larne side of the village.
“Before it was a complete eyesore but now it has been transformed.
“People are more keen to go for walks and admire all the flowers, to walk around the marina, and it’s nice for people getting off the boats.”