U3A Foyle in Northern Ireland has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – the highest accolade a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

The U3A’s volunteers were praised for their work in “providing a full programme of classes and activities to keep retirees active and involved”.

Chairman David Hill is delighted that the hard work of the U3A’s many volunteers has been recognised by this prestigious award. 

He said: “It is a tribute to all the volunteer members within U3A Foyle. We have a huge volunteer base. Members volunteer in so many ways - on our board, on our many committees, as office volunteers, kitchen volunteers, finance and IT volunteers, as in-house event support volunteers and as group leaders and animators for the groups and activities.

“The large number of volunteer roles we have emphasises that this deserved award is for each and every volunteer within U3A Foyle".

During this coronavirus crisis, many groups in U3A Foyle have moved online via Zoom, Hangouts and Skype; members are connected through emails and Facebook Private Group pages all as a way of keeping members informed and connected.

U3A Foyle member Doreen stated "U3A has helped me feel less isolated since the Corona Virus hit. It has been reassuring while cocooning to be able to continue to do my U3A keep-fit classes which have shifted online. I get a lot of information through the weekly emails and I keep in touch with my friends on WhatsApp and now also on Zoom".

A certificate signed by the Queen and a domed glass crystal will be presented to U3A Foyle by Dr Angela Garvey, Lord-Lieutenant for the City of Londonderry, later this summer. In addition, two volunteers may also be invited to attend a Royal garden party next year.

See more on U3A Foyle's Website

Title Photo: U3A Foyle Building