As we start 2015, it offers a timely opportunity to reflect on what has been a superb year, during which time The Boys’ Brigade in Northern Ireland achieved a great deal.
A full calendar of events has seen our young members develop skills for life whilst involved in summer camps, sports challenges and skills training. In 2014, Mid Ulster Battalion celebrated 60 consecutive years of camping, whilst the 1st Garvagh Company became Boys’ Brigade national badminton champions.
To welcome HRH The Earl of Wessex to our new Headquarters in Hillsborough was also a highlight. During the visit we unveiled plans for the renovation and extension of the building into a conference and residential facility and offices. The Boys’ Brigade in Northern Ireland was also recognised for the significant role it plays in introducing, promoting and overseeing the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Over the last twelve months, we saw the completion of 320 Duke of Edinburgh awards, an increase on the year before.
In 2014, we also witnessed the achievements of 252 members – the highest number this century – being awarded the Queen’s Badge, the organisation’s highest recognition. Through this initiative the boys volunteered 7,500 hours of community service and 7,500 hours working within churches and BB groups, which showcases the continued relevance of The Boys’ Brigade to today’s young people.
However, we couldn’t have achieved this without the help and support of over 2,500 volunteers who give up countless hours each week to invest in the lives of thousands of children and young people. We offer our thanks to each and every one of them for the vital role they play in engaging, partnering and supporting our young members through a fun and challenging programme.
Director of The Boys’ Brigade in Northern Ireland