Derry charity Foyle Search & Rescue said they were delighted after joining Learmount Community Group to take a Lloyds Bank Foundation Charity Achievement Award.
The Derry charity have just been confirmed as winners in the ‘Outstanding Impact’ category.
Learmount Community Development Group Ltd in Park village meanwhile have won in the ‘Valuing Volunteers’ category.
The judging panel were not only impressed by the fact that Foyle Search and Rescue has directly saved the lives of over 2,500 people, but also that they have been “instrumental” in helping other areas set up search and rescue groups.
“Their amazing work doesn’t stop there. They also provide bereavement support to families, water safety education and suicide prevention programmes to the community,” the judges concluded.
With Learmount, the judging panel said they were “impressed at how this small village is indebted to the volunteers that give their time freely to this organisation”.
They added that they were “struck by how many volunteers they managed to retain in such a small community.”
Both organisations will now go forward to the Charity Achievement Awards UK Finals which will be held at Banking Hall, London on October 8.
FS&R chairman Stephen Twells said they were really honoured to receive recognition in an awards competition which has drawn in almost 1,000 entries across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands.
He said: “We are over the moon and this is recognition for all of the volunteers.
“We out ourselves forward but we weren’t expecting to win it. The winners get £1,000 and a glass trophy and the overall winners will get £2,000 and public recognition.
“We are delighted to get that chance to get across what we do beyond the city where everybody knows us. It’s an amazing opportunity.”
From January 1st to June 30th this year, FS&R have lifted nine people from the water, and physically stopped a further 29 people who found themselves in distress at the water’s edge.
They also made contact with a further 33 people who needed help.”