Mayor Lilian Seenoi Barr tells North West Migrants Forum volunteers they have ‘changed lives’

Mayor Lilian Seenoi Barr has told the volunteers of the North West Migrants Forum that their efforts have ‘literally improved lives’.

Mrs. Barr, who is Chief Executive of the Migrants Forum, was invited to the organisation’s headquarters as part of this year’s Volunteer Week celebrations.

It was her first official engagement with the charity she established in 2012 since becoming First Citizen of the city and district.

Mayor Barr presented certificates and gifts to those who have helped the charity in one capacity or another over the past 12 months.

She revealed how when she first tabled the idea of setting up a charity she was told she would need a substantial amount of money to get it off the ground.

“I said what I really need is volunteers. And I stand by that because there is nothing more important than those who give that most precious of resources – their time – to make life better for those in need,” she said.

Volunteers linked to the Forum were front and centre of the recent Little Amal event which brought hundreds of people on to Derry’s streets.

They are also a vital component of the ‘Let’s Talk Race and Racism’ programme which the Forum rolls out through local schools as well as the various fun days and other activities it organises throughout the year.

Mayor Barr told those gathered, “You are the reason the Migrants Forum has been able to continue with the work it was set up to do. You are the reason it has grown into the organisation it is, one that provides help and understanding to people from all over the world every day.

“And while I know that you choose to volunteer selflessly and without expectation of reward, we want to thank you. We want you to know just much your dedication is appreciated and how grateful we are to have you with us.

“Whether you are a long-term volunteer or if you have only got involved with this organisation recently, and regardless of how many hours you choose to give, it is important that you know that what you do is bringing about positive change in this city and beyond.

“Please know that your time, your help and your efforts are recognised, appreciated, valued and cherished,” she said.

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