The Lord Lieutenant of County Antrim, Mrs Joan Christie has presented the voluntary directors and members of LEDCOM with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
The presentation took place at a special celebration event at LEDCOM’s Willowbank Business Park in Larne, attended by politicians and past and present directors of the company.
Paying tribute to LEDCOM’s voluntary directors, Mrs Christie said many organisations in Northern Ireland could not function without a dedicated team of volunteers.
“It is great to see that after 31 years, LEDCOM still has the same people giving their commitment to the community. I am personally delighted that you have received this award.”
LEDCOM Chair, Henry Fletcher said the award was recognition of the 22 volunteer board members who have served the community since LEDCOM was established in 1985 to help stimulate investment and employment in the Larne area.
He paid tribute to Des Nixon, the late founding chair of LEDCOM who had served as a board member for 30 years.
“Des learned of this award before he died and it is great to see his wife Norma here today. He is greatly missed both as a friend and as a wise head on the board.”
Ken Nelson, Chief Executive of LEDCOM, said: “It is a great tribute to our directors, who are all volunteers and have given their time, experience and skills to help people find employment and train in new skills. They haven’t lost their appetite to make things happen because they are from this community and they want to improve this community.”
LEDCOM is the first enterprise centre in Northern Ireland to receive this prestigious award which was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. It has been awarded for recognised for more than 30 years of voluntary service, helping people in Northern Ireland find jobs during the most difficult period in its history.
It is one of Northern Ireland’s leading Local Enterprise Agencies (LEAs) with an extensive track record in local economic development. Since its formation in 1985 it has provided over 10,000 mentoring/information/ advice/training sessions, helping over 900 new start-up business, supporting over 1500 jobs.
The Larne-based company was one of 193 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups across the UK to receive the prestigious award this year.