05/03/2013

Diana Award Ceremony Commences At Stormont

Minister Nelson McCausland has hosted the first ever Diana Award Ceremony to take place in Northern Ireland.

The Diana Award is a registered charity which was founded in 1999 by the UK Government to act as a lasting legacy to Princess Diana’s belief in the power of young people to change the world.

Speaking at the event in Parliament Buildings to honour the recipients and volunteers, the Social Development minister said: "It is important that our young people are encouraged and empowered to develop their skills and are given a voice in shaping our community. Tonight young people who have volunteered to improve their schools and communities will be celebrated with a Diana Award.

"Volunteering helps people connect meaningfully with each other and thousands of people volunteer across Northern Ireland every day. Our entire society benefits from the work carried out by volunteers so it is in everyone’s interest to support and develop volunteering. It plays an important role in giving people, and in particular young people, a sense of purpose and fulfilment. It also broadens their horizons and provides the opportunity to build new friendships while playing an active role in the community and doing something worthwhile that they enjoy."

The Diana Award celebrates the amazing achievements of inspirational young people, who defy expectation and challenge the negative stereotypes that are so often applied to them.

On receiving the award, award holders are invited to become members of the Diana Network, a mentoring scheme that provides the young people with the support, expertise and opportunities to continue their community work demonstrating the potential that young people have to become a force for good in society.

The Minister continued: "In March 2012, my Department published Northern Ireland’s first ever Volunteering Strategy and Action Plan entitled "Join in, get involved: Build a better future". I am fully committed to implementing this strategy which aims to create the conditions that will encourage volunteering to flourish."

The Minister concluded: "The value of programmes such as the Diana Award cannot be underestimated, providing support to engage and motivate young people so that they can keep up their volunteering. I hope the experience gained by those who participated in the scheme will help them play an ongoing role in strengthening our community and wish them well in the future."

(GK)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

01 December 2020
Police Seize 'Substantial Amount' Of Illegal Alcohol In West Belfast
Police came under attack in west Belfast as they attempted to remove two van-loads of seized alcohol on Monday afternoon. Police uncovered a "substantial amount of alcohol" at a commercial property on the Falls Road as they conducted a search under warrant.
02 February 2006
Diana Awards to be launched in Northern Ireland
An award for Young People will be officially launched in Belfast tomorrow. The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Award has been created to celebrate the innate qualities, courage, commitment, compassion and selfless service to others.
11 March 2011
Duke In NI To Present 'Own Awards'
NI is again enjoying a royal visit - the second this week - as Prince Philip today attended the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Ceremony at Hillsborough Castle.
20 October 2009
Cinemagic Targets Young Filmmakers
Young people, aged 16-25, keen to get an inside track on the film industry can do just that in December, as a regional Cinemagic 'Talent Lab' returns to Belfast as part of the annual Coca-Cola Cinemagic Film and Television Festival for Young People.
26 May 2011
Deprived Children Have 'No Career Goal'
A report published on Wednesday has found that one in four of those from deprived homes believe that 'few' or 'none' of their career goals are achievable.