Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Michael Savage has hosted a reception for Bessbrook based Hope 4 ME and Fibro NI to mark the honour of their Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
Every year outstanding examples of volunteering excellence are celebrated through the award. Created in 2002 for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service are the highest awards given to local voluntary groups in the UK and are the equivalent of an MBE. Recent awards continue to be issued following the death of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Lord Lieutenant of Co Armagh, The Earl of Caledon KCVO JP, attended the reception to present the award to Joan McParland from Hope 4 ME and Fibro NI, stating that it was an honour to finally be able to hand over the award to the group following the pandemic. Also in attendance were Deputy Lieutenants David Reaney and Jill Armstrong along with Sandra Adair MBE, Northern Ireland representative for Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
Councillor Savage said, “Hope 4 ME and Fibro NI would not be possible without its founder member, now Treasurer, Joan McParland, who herself is a patient. Along with other patients and volunteers, they continue to support those who feel alone in suffering with these conditions, raising awareness and offering support within our community.
“As Joan’s work began in our district, we as a Council are immensely proud indeed that Hope 4 ME and Fibro NI are receiving this, the highest of awards given to voluntary groups.”
The Chairperson also made a presentation to the charity on behalf of the Council following their success in attaining the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.