The Mayor's Charities

The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Alderman Bill Keery has announced the charities that he will be supporting during his term of office. He has chosen Air Ambulance Northern Ireland, Bangor Sea Cadets, Decorum NI and Flourish NI.

Caption: (L to R) Roberta Dunlop, Bangor Sea Cadets; Grace Williams, Air Ambulance Northern Ireland; Mayor of Ards and North Down, Alderman Bill Keery; Daniel Allen; Linda Gillies, Decorum NI and Jill Robinson, Flourish NI.

Air Ambulance NI 

Air Ambulance Northern Ireland (AANI) is a local charity that provides the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) for Northern Ireland, together with partners at the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS). The service brings urgent medical assistance to anywhere in the province, operating seven days a week for 12 hours per day. It can get to anywhere in Northern Ireland in approximately twenty-five minutes. 

This Doctor / Paramedic led service benefits those whose lives are at serious risk following significant injury or trauma. Effectively the service brings emergency hospital care direct to the casualty.

Air Ambulance NI needs to raise £2 million each year to maintain this service so public donations are crucial.

Bangor Sea Cadets

Bangor Sea Cadets is a local branch of the Sea Cadets, a UK wide organisation that aims to provide young people with life-changing experiences and new skills in a caring and safe environment. 

A diverse range of activities are catered for, including camping and climbing, as well as nautical activities such as sailing and windsurfing. Each of these give young people a chance to attain important skills for the modern world, while improving confidence and forging friendships.

The Sea Cadets have a long history of improving the lives of young people, with the Naval Lads’ Brigade formed over 160 years ago, in 1856, for orphans of the Crimean War in coastal communities.

Decorum NI

Decorum NI is a local charity that works to provide support and an empowering voice to those who served in Northern Ireland’s security forces during the era of The Troubles, and their families.

The charity operates across Northern Ireland and strives to ensure that an accurate account is provided of those who served in the security forces and suffered as a result of the violence perpetrated over the period of Operation Banner, between 1969 and 2007.

Members are also provided with the services to support what can often be complex mental, physical or social needs.

Flourish 

Flourish NI is a local charity launched in 2014 to support survivors of human trafficking in Northern Ireland. 

Human trafficking is an issue of increasing relevance in Northern Ireland, with the PSNI rescuing 36 victims in the first six months of the 2018/19 financial year alone. This makes up part of a global problem, with the International Labour Organisation estimating that worldwide, an estimated 4.8 million women and girls are in forced sexual exploitation.

Flourish aims to help these victims regain self-confidence and lead fulfilled lives by providing them with support to succeed, including finding housing, obtaining therapy and sourcing educational opportunities.

You can get involved by coming along to events that the charity committee will be organising - further details of which will be publicised in the local press and on the council’s website and Facebook page over the coming months - or arrange an initiative of your own to help raise funds.

For more information contact the Mayor’s office on 0300 013 3333 or email mayors.office@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk