A Ballymoney man has been awarded the BEM in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his work with the charity vision4kids.
Irwin Holmes is a founding trustee of vision4kids which was established in 2010 and is well known for his fundraising efforts and charity work long before then.
Since helping establish vision4kids, Irwin has helped raise over £250,000 for worthy causes around the world from Northern Ireland, Nepal, Romania, Philippines, India, Brazil, to current outreach projects in Kenya.
Irwin has visited Kenya several times to help practically with building work, school repairs, Bible distribution and visitation of the poor in Kiambururu village. Last summer he led a mission team which dug the foundations for the new school classroom and each afternoon held Bible lessons for the local children.
Secretary of vision4kids Stephen Fletcher said: “The whole team at vision4kids are immensely proud of Irwin and what he has achieved over the years. He has given up his time and used his talents to help others. It’s more than just his fundraising efforts, it’s his love for God and commitment to the children in Kiambururu to help them through their education, improve their health care, distribute food and clothing as well as teach them from the Bible. I count it a privilege to call Irwin my friend and follow his example in helping others.”
On the announcement of his award Irwin said: “I am deeply humbled and delighted to be awarded the BEM in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. In accepting the honour I do so on behalf of all those who helped me in any of my fundraising for various charities over the last 30 years and in particular for my own charity vision4kids over the last 10 years. Thank you one and all.”