Press Release

Assembly Commission Nominates Action Mental Health as its Charity of the Year

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Monday, 14 May 2012

Reference: AC 04/11/12

The Northern Ireland Assembly Commission[1] has nominated Action Mental Health[2] as its first ever Charity of the Year. The appointment follows the Commission’s approval of a new Charity Policy [3].

Following a proposal by the Speaker, the Commission chose mental health as the theme it wanted to support for the upcoming year and selected Action Mental Health as its nominated charity for one year.

Chair of the Assembly Commission and Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly William Hay MLA said: "I am delighted to launch this new Charity Policy on behalf of the Assembly Commission which is committed to supporting the work of the voluntary and community sector. Our new Charity Policy provides an additional opportunity for the work of charities to be supported at Parliament Buildings.

“In December last year, I used the annual switching on of the Christmas tree lights to recognise the work of mental health charities.  We heard some inspirational stories at that event and I am therefore delighted that Action Mental Health is our first nominated Charity as part of this new Policy to provide some additional profile for that cause.  Good mental health is fundamental to the health and wellbeing of every person in this society.

“The Charity will benefit from any Northern Ireland Assembly fundraising activities which take place in Parliament Buildings for one year at which point a new charity will be approved by the Commission for the following year. Of course, it is important to point out that other charities will still be able to host events at Parliament Buildings, with the support of MLAs.”

David Babington, Chief Executive of Action Mental Health, said he was delighted to accept the honour on behalf of the charities’ staff and clients: “We are very pleased that the NI Assembly Commission has chosen to focus on and support mental health and well-being this year and we are delighted to be named as Charity of the Year.  Our team in AMH is already hard at work organising a number of fundraising activities and events here at Parliament Buildings, and we look forward to working with, and having the support of the Assembly staff as well as the MLAs.  We will also be running a number of joint initiatives with the Assembly to raise awareness, tackle stigma and promote positive mental health, in essence taking action on mental health.” 

In addition to being able to hold a number of fundraising events in Parliament Buildings the Charity will receive all proceeds raised by staff at Assembly organised fundraising events.

The Northern Ireland Assembly Commission has today (Monday 14 May 2012) nominated Action Mental Health as its first ever Charity of the Year. The appointment follows the Commission’s approval of a new Charity Policy. Pictured with David Babington, Chief Executive of Action Mental Health are members of the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission L-R Peter Weir MLA, Pat Ramsey MLA, Chair of the Assembly Commission and Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly William Hay MLA and Judith Cochrane MLA.


Notes to Editors:

1. The Northern Ireland Assembly Commission was appointed by resolution of the Assembly on the 23 May 2011.

The Commission’s Legislative Base

The Northern Ireland Act 1998 states, "there shall be a body corporate known as the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission ("the Commission") to perform:

(a) the functions conferred on the Commission by virtue of any enactment; and

(b) any functions conferred on the Commission by resolution of the Assembly."

The Commission is the body corporate of the Northern Ireland Assembly. It has the responsibility, under section 40(4) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, to provide the Assembly, or ensure that the Assembly is provided with the property, staff and services required for the Assembly to carry out its work.

2. Founded in 1963, Action Mental Health aims to enhance the quality of life and the employability of people with mental health needs or a learning disability in Northern Ireland.

AMH provide their clients with many opportunities.  They encourage them to adopt a healthier lifestyle and to widen their social networks.  They also provide them with the skills to build a better future, set personal goals, develop coping skills, re-engage with society and become more employable.

Their services include AMH New Horizons, AMH Accept, AMH Promote, AMH Mensana, AMH the Junction and AMH Works.  They operate in 12 locations across the region and increasingly deliver a variety of courses out in the community.  They support more than 1700 clients each year and by working in partnership with schools and colleges promote positive mental health to a further 1700 young people. AMH Works provides consultancy and training to local businesses. www.amh.org.uk

3. The Assembly Charity Policy is available at http://nia1.me/v8

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