King’s Award for Muckamore Parish Development Association

Thursday March 7th 2024

Congratulations to all involved in MPDA!

Congratulations to Muckamore Parish Development Association (MPDA) which has been awarded the King’s Award for Voluntary Service – the MBE for Volunteer Groups.

This was presented by the Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim, Mr David McCorkell KStJ, at a special event held by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council in The Old Courthouse, Antrim, on Friday March 1.

MPDA has been in existence for 16 years and during this time has carried out a range of projects which have positively impacted the local community, particularly in the Ballycraigy area.

For many years, this work was carried out by a small group of dedicated volunteers, and in recent years the employment of part-time staff, the establishment of the new community hub, and the recruitment of more volunteers has increased the scope of this work.

The group has been instrumental in providing essential community services, ranging from sensory play for children with additional needs to one-to-one support services. MPDA works to improve the wellbeing of both families and individuals by collaborating with and signposting to local services, providing a foodbank, hosting an after-school club and establishing the Muckamore Friendship Group for older people. MPDA also offers skills and training to improve employability and youth activities to build resilience and improve life and health outcomes.  

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Mark Cooper BEM said: “I would like to congratulate the Chairperson, Trustees and Volunteers of Muckamore Parish Development Association for the contribution they have made and continue to make in Ballycraigy and the surrounding areas.

“Their detailed knowledge of the needs of the community and passion to see these needs met has allowed the volunteers to develop strong trusting and supportive relationships with those in the local community.

“The volunteers are the foundation of the organisation and the driving force behind every activity, event and service delivered. Their compassion and generous devotion are inspirational.”

The Rev Derek Harrington receives a presentation from Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Mark Cooper BEM.

The Rev Derek Harrington, priest-in-charge of Muckamore and Killead, is Chairperson of MPDA. “What an amazing honour for Muckamore Parish Development Association to receive the King’s Award for Voluntary Service, the equivalent of an MBE for voluntary groups,” Derek said.

“This award is in recognition of the vast contribution our volunteers make to the work of the organisation in support of the local community and the wider Antrim area.

“As minister of the parish and Chairman of MPDA, I would like to pay special tribute to our Project Coordinator and Family Support Worker Kim Dunne and her amazing team of staff and volunteers. As is often said, our volunteers are the life blood of the organisation, and Kim is certainly the heartbeat!”

Derek continued: “Her passion for the community and its people, expertise in her field(s!), and her sense of commitment have ensured MPDA has gone from strength to strength.

“I would also like to pay tribute to our former Chair (now Vice Chair) Andrew Stewart and our Treasurer James Moore. Andrew and James have both been involved in MPDA since its inception and their wisdom, vision, courage and dedication continue to be an invaluable asset in furthering the vital support MPDA offers.

“As Chairman, I look forward to see what the future holds as we continue to seek to love and serve our community.”

Photos courtesy of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.

  • Created in 2002 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee and previously known as The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS), the Award has been shining a light on the fantastic work of voluntary groups from all across the UK for many years. For more details on the Award visit

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