Date: 21 Jul 2023
The Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Ryan Murphy welcomed representatives from the Community Rescue Service to City Hall today, and announced them as one of his chosen charities.
Each year, the First Citizen selects a number of charities to support during their year in office.
Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Ryan Murphy said: “For the past 15 years, the Community Rescue Service team of dedicated and passionate volunteers have made a massive contribution to Belfast, giving up their own time and working through all kinds of weather and terrain, to save lives and support individuals and families through the most difficult of times.
“Their work is largely unseen, but it’s highly skilled and requires a huge amount of dedication in order to be prepared to whatever comes next. As well as work on the frontline, their teams work within local communities, with schools and community groups, to raise awareness about dangers and equip people with the essential skills to keep themselves, and others, safe.
“I hope that, in selecting them as one of the charities for my year in office, I can help shine a spotlight on their efforts, highlight the difference they make and encourage others to get involved in supporting their work.”
Lord Mayor met with representatives from the charity, which currently has 320 volunteers, and heard more the services they provide, which range from suicide prevention and crisis intervention to safety patrols, land and water rescue and community education.
Speaking on behalf of the Community Rescue Service, District Commander Darren Harper said: “We are delighted to have our work recognised by the Lord Mayor in this way and look forward to working with him this year as one of his chosen charities.
“As a charity which relies solely on the efforts of our volunteers and donations from the public, this is an amazing way for us to raise the profile of the services we provide and to encourage more people to consider helping the work of our teams in whatever way they can.”
The Lord Mayor will meet with more Community Rescue Service volunteers again tomorrow (Saturday 22 July), ahead of the Lagan Raft Race, an event organised by the charity.
Councillor Murphy will officially start the race which sees teams travel along the Lagan, from Ravenhill Reach to Stranmillis, and back again in teams of four, in order to raise vital funds.