There were three winners from Ballymoney at the MS Society Celebrating Volunteers Awards.
The MS Society Northern Ireland held a night of celebration for volunteers at Queen’s University’s Riddell Hall. The evening highlighted the immense contribution of volunteers working with and for people with MS.
The awards included ‘Volunteer Awards’ and the Society’s prestigious ‘Shining Star’ awards and there were Ballymoney winners in each category.
Hosted by UTV’s Paul Reilly the awards were attended by Chief Executive of MS Society UK Michelle Mitchell, the organisation’s Chairman Hilary Sears and Sammy Douglas MLA who is Chair of the All Party Group on MS. The guest speaker was MS Ambassador and star of People’s Strictly Come Dancing Trishna Bhardadia.
Garth Magee from the Ballymoney Branch of the MS Society is an accountant who is now in his 24th year of volunteering! Keeping both the books and Treasurers in check, Garth’s hard work has been very much appreciated and has now been recognised by his peers with a Volunteer Award.
Ballymoney also had two winners of the organisations prestigious Shining Stars awards. Daphne Bustard and Janette Reid between them have over 50 years of service to people affected by MS and the MS Society in Ballymoney. Passionate fundraisers they have also worked hard to ensure services for people with MS and their families are available in the Ballymoney area. With decades of volunteering and hard work, the pair have now been recognised with the organisations most prestigious award. As ardent activists and passionate advocates they are a true inspiration.
Speaking about the awards the Director of the MS Society NI Patricia Gordon said: “Our volunteers are such a shining example to us all that I am delighted we were able to recognise their contribution. There are over 4,500 people in Northern Ireland with MS, 100,000 across the UK. The MS Society is here for people with MS, through the highs, lows and everything in between but we couldn’t do that without the passion and commitment of our volunteers. With their help together we’re strong enough to stop MS.”