Queen’s Award for Vineyard volunteers

Miriam McAlister and David McCaracken at the garden party in Buckingham Palace.
Miriam McAlister and David McCaracken at the garden party in Buckingham Palace.

Coleraine’s Vineyard Compassion has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – the highest award the group can receive.

Two of the staff, Miriam McAlister and David McCracken attended a garden party in Buckingham Palace to mark the occasion.

David said: “It was such a great privilege for us to represent all the incredible volunteers within Vineyard Compassion who deliver our 19 projects in the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough. Without them we could not tackle local poverty and its underlying root causes.”

Since 2009, Vineyard Compassion has provided practical and emotional support to people within the community at their crisis point of need, while also empowering them to tackle the underlying root causes of poverty. The charity has multiple projects that run within it; these include Causeway Foodbank, CAP Debt Counselling, Job Club, Money Management course, The Link (work placements designed to increase confidence, skills and ultimately employability), Wear House (emergency clothing, shoes, accessories and household items), RESET (Social Supermarket scheme) just to name a few.

The Open Door (where Foodbank, RESET, Wearhouse can be accessed, along with support) is open Monday – Friday 11.30am -1pm and Thursday evening from 7-8pm. For more information, please visit their website: www.vineyardcompassion.co.uk

Last year 299 individuals volunteered within Vineyard Compassion. These volunteers contributed an incredible 25,898 hours or a total value of £194,235 (based on a minimum wage of £7.50). Miriam said: “It’s a huge honour for Vineyard Compassion to receive the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.”