Newry’s ‘Banjo’ Bannon tells young volunteers to ‘follow their dreams’

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Friday, February 28th, 2014
Young people from across Northern Ireland who have been involved in volunteering within a sports club or organisation have received their MV ‘Goldmark’ Awards of Excellence from Minister of Education, John O’Dowd MLA at a celebration organised by Volunteer Now and held in Belfast City Hall. The Awards recognise the volunteering commitment given by young people and included volunteers who were involved with last summer’s World, Police and Fire Games. Welcoming guests to the City Hall, Belfast Lord Mayor, Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir quoted Martin Luther King by asking, “What do you do for others?” and responded by telling the young people “all of you do a fabulous job, keep up what you are doing!” Wendy Osborne OBE, Chief Executive, Volunteer Now explained the benefits of getting involved in Goldmark, saying, “Goldmark is Volunteer Now’s dynamic programme aimed at promoting and recognising sports volunteering for 14-24 year olds. It is an excellent opportunity for young people who are involved in a sporting activity to make a difference through their volunteering. They benefit from being physically active to being active in their communities – it’s a win-win situation.” An inspiring speech was given by Terence ‘Banjo’ Bannon, a local Firefighter, a competitor in World, Police and Fire Games 2013 and the second person from Northern Ireland to reach the summit of Mount Everest. ‘Banjo’ said, “I’m inspired by you all, time is valuable and volunteering is invaluable. The volunteers involved in WPFG 2013 helped make the Games the friendliest ever and as a competitor that made me extremely proud. At the age of 14, I dreamt of climbing the highest mountain in the World – and I did! Anything you believe in – you can make it happen, just follow your dreams!” To find out more about Goldmark and Millennium Volunteers go to:
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