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.

16 December 2021
Funding Announced To Improve Wages In Voluntary And Community Sectors
Additional funding has been announced to help improve the wages and conditions of workers in the Voluntary and Community Sectors.
09 December 2021
Health Minister Marks Anniversary Of First Vaccine Delivered In NI
The first anniversary of the delivery of the first Covid-19 vaccine in Northern Ireland has been marked by Health Minister Robin Swann. Marking the milestone, Minister Swann, said: "A year ago today Sister Joanna Hogg made history when she received her vaccine in the Royal Victoria Hospital vaccination centre and 12 months on, almost 1.
08 December 2021
First Omicron COVID-19 Variant Cases Confirmed In NI
The first Omicron COVID-19 variant cases have been confirmed in Northern Ireland – with two cases in the same household in the greater Belfast area and a third unconnected case in the South Eastern Trust area. All three positive cases have been linked to travel from GB to NI.
16 December 2021
£31m Cullybackey Railway Improvement Works Underway
Work has gotten underway on a £31 million scheme to improve and upgrade rail infrastructure in Cullybackey, Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has announced. The Cullybackey Area Signalling and Level Crossings Renewals Project involves significant upgrades and associated civil engineering works on the track primarily at Cullybackey.
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.