Forty-five Ballymena Academy sixth form students have been recognised for their substantial volunteering efforts.
They were presented with ‘Millennium Volunteers Awards’ by Mervyn Storey, MLA, at a recent ceremony in the school.
Of the 45 award recipients, 24 students achieved their Silver 100 hours award, 15 pupils gained the Bronze 50 hours award and six attained the Schools’ award for 35+ hours volunteering completed.
Mr Storey congratulated the students on their participation and encouraged them to make volunteering a lifelong commitment. Jane Gribben from ‘Volunteer Now’ spoke of the great benefits young people gain from volunteering and how the local community is enriched by it and she commended the pupils on their substantial effort in volunteering.
This year Ballymena Academy pupils have been encouraged to play a greater part in their community by volunteering in the school, locally and further afield.
All sixth form students were given opportunities to reach out and through this they have gained useful skills, developed new friendships and made a positive impact on those around them.
Ballymena Academy is a #iwill school and Year 13 pupil Blaze Lambert was one of 50 students in the UK selected as an #iwill ambassador and as part of her role she has actively sought to promote volunteering amongst her peers this year.
In school, Year 14 pupils have been involved in roles as prefects, peer mentors and learning mentors. and Year 13 pupils have also served on the school’s Charity Committee, Cancer Research Committee, and in both the Junior and Senior Christian Union groups.
A number of pupils have also volunteered overseas with Ballymena Academy’s Asha Team which went to Delhi in October 2015 and locally based Exodus teams that travelled to Romania and Hungary last summer.
Also, a wide variety of local organisations have seen the participation of Ballymena Academy students in their programmes and fundraising events including Scripture Union Northern Ireland, Valdez Gymnastics, Coaching 4 Christ, Inter Ethnic Forum language classes, Women’s Aid, Spark, Oxfam, Vision of Good Hope Moldova, Sensory Kids, Cancer Research, St. John Ambulance, Age NI, Army Cadets, Macmillan, Bocca Special Olympics Club, Dogs’ Trust, Women’s Aid, National Citizen Service, Mid Antrim Pony Club, Raise the Roof Choir and the Hope Centre.