First Minister Presents Annual Queen's Badges
20th May 2016
First Minister Arlene Foster was the special guest at the Annual Queen's Badge Celebration on Friday 13 May 2016 at Wellington Presbyterian Church.
The young people's achievements were marked by a ceremony which also welcomed Rt. Rev Ian McNie, Minister of Trinity of Presbyterian Church in Ballymoney, and current Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, to the celebrations.
The Queen's Badge is the highest award gained by a member of The Boys' Brigade. It aims to challenge and equip the individual, provide new opportunities and expand horizons while remaining accessible to young people of all abilities.
It offers the chance to engage with the local community, take on responsibility, set personal goals, build self-confidence and experience a sense of achievement.
First Minister Arlene Foster said: "It makes me immensely proud to present these young people from the Boys' Brigade in Northern Ireland with their Queen's Badge certificates. "The commitment, ability and determination shown by the Boys' Brigade speaks volumes and I commend the path of endeavour and dedication they have chosen to achieve this prestigious Queen's Badge award.
"Through skills training and voluntary work they have shown in a very tangible way what a huge difference they have made to enrich lives and make Northern Ireland a better place. Values such as self-discipline and respect for others are values that will last a lifetime. "I congratulate all 199 recipients on their success and I celebrate their achievements."
On average, boys doing the Queen's Badge in Northern Ireland contribute 15,000 hours of volunteering both for their Boys' Brigade Company and the wider community, carrying out the work towards the certificate over a 12-18 month period.
David Blevins, President of The Boys' Brigade in Northern Ireland added:
"It is a great encouragement to us in The Boys' Brigade in Northern Ireland that the First Minister has taken time to attend our annual Queen's Badge Ceremony. "Arlene Foster, a former Girl Guide leader herself, has publicly acknowledged the contribution uniformed youth organisations make to our society.