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Friends of Antrim Castle Gardens celebrate their Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services


Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim Mr David McCorkell KStJ, Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Councillor WJ Webb MBE JP, Deputy Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Councillor Stephen Ross with Friends of Antrim Castle Gardens Volunteers at their Queens Award for Voulntary Services Reception.


Antrim Castle Gardens was the perfect setting for a special reception for Friends of Antrim Castle Gardens to celebrate their Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services (QAVS), which they were awarded earlier this year.


The Friends of Antrim Castle Gardens were honoured to have their award presented to them by Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, during her visit to the award winning gardens on Friday 2 July, making them the second group in Northern Ireland ever to receive their award by a member of the Royal Family.


The Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor WJ Webb, MBE JP followed by The Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim Mr David McCorkell KStJ, and Mrs Sandra Adair QAVS, Northern Ireland representative, all paid glowing tributes to the group in this special evening of recognition.

Gale Carson pictured with her mum a Volunteer with Friends of Antrim Castle Gardens.


The group is made up of 25 volunteers from all ages and backgrounds who all share the same passion and dedication of coming together and making a difference, working tirelessly to keep the 64 acre site in pristine condition.


Chair of Friends of Antrim Castle Gardens, Mrs Sarah Beatty also paid homage to the group, thanking them for making her feel so welcome when she first joined several years ago after making the move from the North of England to Northern Ireland.

Chair of Friends of Antrim Castle Gardens Mrs Sarah Beatty addressing the guests at their QAVS Reception at Antrim Castle Gardens.


The Mayor, Councillor WJ Webb, MBE JP said:


“The Friends of Antrim Castle Gardens are worthy recipients of the Queens Award for Voluntary Services, the highest award bestowed to Volunteer Groups. Antrim Castle Gardens was a safe haven for many people during lockdown, a place of tranquillity and natural beauty also known as the ‘Jewel in the Crown of Antrim Town’. This group not only maintain the beautiful gardens all year round, they also offer friendship and a warm welcome to the thousands of visitors it attracts each year.”



The evening celebrations concluded with entertainment from Conor Taggart and Victoria McClements.