Social Development Minister Mervyn Storey has congratulated the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland on its national award for volunteering.
The Whitehead-based rail heritage organisation has received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
The highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK, it recognises the outstanding contribution that people make to their local communities.
Mr Storey said: “This has been an exceptional year for volunteering in Northern Ireland with 15 voluntary groups, the highest number ever, receiving an award for voluntary service from Her Majesty the Queen.
“All of these organisations must be extremely proud that their invaluable work has been recognised at the very highest level.
“The contribution that volunteers make in society cannot be underestimated. Volunteers give freely of their time, putting their local community at the heart of everything they do. I would like to offer my warmest congratulations to these organisations, and every other volunteering group, and hope that these awards inspire others to participate in volunteering.”