The presentation of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service was made to Maghera Cross Community Link earlier this October. While restricted in numbers because of Covid the event was a most happy and proud moment for the Volunteers pictured here.

The Lord Lieutenant, Mrs Alison Millar, was hugely complimentary about the enormous efforts the volunteers make in providing a place to create opportunities for young adults from both sides of an extremely divided community to come together and interact meaningfully in a safe neutral environment. They provide tutoring, counselling, confidence building and life and career skills development. The Link has, since its inception 5 years ago, worked with only a small number of volunteers and a few staff to provide social and personal development for disadvantaged children and young adults. Every week over 120 children and young people from both sides of the community attend The Link and many families are helped by the food bank. The work The Link does is unique and essential to the area and encourages youngsters to improve their life chances and sense of worth.

The Lord Lieutenant, Mrs Alison Millar,commented in her citation for the Award: “The Maghera Cross Community Link is an exceptional example of a voluntary organization driving cross-community personal and social development, and promoting synergistic interaction, in one of Northern Ireland’s most divided towns and its surrounding area”.