Staff and volunteers at Women’s Aid in Antrim, Ballymena, Carrickfergus, Larne and Newtownabbey gathered at Mossley Mill on 15th January to celebrate their success in being awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services.

Lord Lieutenant Joan Christie presented the Award on behalf of the Queen.

George Gillespie from Volunteer Now congratulated Women’s Aid on receiving the prestigious award, while Mayor of Ballymena, PJ McAvoy highlighted some of the work being done locally by the charity. Deputy Mayor of Newtownabbey, Alderman Fraser Agnew praised the hard work and dedication of volunteers, who support Women’s Aid in the delivery of vital services.

Both Councils helped to fund a trip to Buckingham Palace for the Volunteers in June 2012 after hearing of the award.

Mayor of Larne, Gerardine Mulvenna spoke of her passion for Women’s aid and the services staff and Volunteers provide.

Laura Dillon, Volunteer Co-ordinator with Women’s Aid ABCLN, also paid tribute to the volunteers:

‘I personally would like to thank all the Volunteers for your kindness, compassion and continued support.  The work you do is commendable and your support is unwavering. Quite simply, without the work of the Volunteers, our organisation could not survive”

Anyone experiencing domestic violence can also access support by calling the 24 Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline on 0808 802 1414.