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Students Recognised at Volunteer Now Impact Awards


Students from South Eastern Regional College (@S_ERC) have been recognised as part of Volunteers’ Week 2024 celebrations, hosted by Volunteer Now at Belfast Castle, on Tuesday 4 June.

Five (5) first year students, from the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma Uniformed Protective Services at SERC’s Bangor Campus, were presented with certificates in recognition of their hours of volunteering efforts. Mark Brashier (Dundonald) was recognised for 300 hours; Natalie Gough (Bangor), William Scott (Bangor) and William Gilchrist (Bangor) for 200 hours; and, Sam Cree (Comber) for 75 hours of volunteering. The College was also presented with an award which recognises organisations involving youth volunteers.

Sam Cree volunteers with NIFRS Cadets and Comber Regeneration Community Partnership, he also assists the NIFRS with simulated car accidents as a casualty when Firefighters undertake training. Sam was a recipient of Ards and North Down Young Volunteer of the Year Award in September. Natalie Gough similarly was recognised for services to St John Ambulance when she met with Princess Anne at Hillsborough Castle in October. Both students received the Community Champions of the Year Award at SERC’s annual Excellence Awards in April.

Mark Brashier, William Scott and William Gilchrist all volunteer extensively through their Army Cadet detachments. William Gilchrist also volunteers with Holywood Youth Centre.

Lecturer Irwin Pryce, who attended the ceremony with the students, said,

“We are delighted that the students have been recognised as part of Volunteers’ Week annual celebrations. The students have participated in numerous volunteering activities throughout the academic year. These have included a sleep out at Banana Block Belfast which raised over £1000 for MACS, stewarding at Belfast City Marathon and Half Marathon for Air Ambulance NI, litter picking, a rowing race at Sea Bangor, and managing a stall and bucket collections in aid of Cancer Focus NI at Balmoral Show.”

He added,

“Volunteer Now have consistently supported and encouraged our students to get involved in volunteering and recognised their efforts in making a difference to the local community. The students have been overwhelmed with the thanks provided to them from Volunteer Now and plan to continue their volunteering next year.”

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