Local volunteers recognised for ‘outstanding work’ in community

Winners of the Mayor's Community Awards 2017 are pictured with the Mayor, Councillor Brian Bloomfield MBE; Gary Wilson and Rhonda Frew, Community Development Officer.
Winners of the Mayor's Community Awards 2017 are pictured with the Mayor, Councillor Brian Bloomfield MBE; Gary Wilson and Rhonda Frew, Community Development Officer.

More than 70 individuals and voluntary organisations from across the Lisburn Castlereagh area were recognised at the Mayor’s Community Awards 2017.

Guests at the gala event in the La Mon Hotel included HM The Queen’s representative, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of County Antrim, Freddie Hall OBE DL, along with representatives from the council’s partner organisations in the awards, Volunteer Now, the Education Authority and the South East Health & Social Care Trust.

Winner of the Fundraiser of the Year Award was Steven Thompson who collected his trophy from Mayor Brian Bloomfield MBE and Ryan Black, Head of Culture & Community Services, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council.

Winner of the Fundraiser of the Year Award was Steven Thompson who collected his trophy from Mayor Brian Bloomfield MBE and Ryan Black, Head of Culture & Community Services, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council.

Musical entertainment was provided by the very talented Belfast Community Gospel Choir and the compére for the evening was Gary Wilson.

The Mayor’s Community Awards acknowledged all nominees with a certificate of recognition for their invaluable contribution within local communities. The following category winners also received a trophy:

• Brian MacDowell Life-Long Commitment Award - Robert Rea, Brooklands Youth Centre

• Young Champion of the Year Award - Matthew Cooper, Dromara Youth Group

Matthew Cooper from Dromara Youth Club won the Young Champion of the Year Award which he collected from Mayor Brian Bloomfield MBE and Arlene McKee of the Education Authority.

Matthew Cooper from Dromara Youth Club won the Young Champion of the Year Award which he collected from Mayor Brian Bloomfield MBE and Arlene McKee of the Education Authority.

• Team Spirit Award - Lisburn & Castlereagh Citizens Advice

• Arts & Culture Award - Peter Johnston, Moneyreagh Community Association

• Bringing Communities Together Award - Adrian Bird, Resurgam Trust

• Fundraiser of the Year Award - Steven Thompson

Adrian Bird from The Resurgam Trust won the Bringing Communities Together Award which he collected from Mayor Brian Bloomfield MBE and Freddie Hall OBE DL, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of County Antrim.

Adrian Bird from The Resurgam Trust won the Bringing Communities Together Award which he collected from Mayor Brian Bloomfield MBE and Freddie Hall OBE DL, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of County Antrim.

• Community Impact Award - Cedar Inclusion Matters

• Office Bearer of the Year Award - Julie-Ann Jackson, Seymour Hill & Conway Residents’ Group.

Reflecting on the successful event, the Mayor of Lisburn and Castlereagh, Councillor Brian Bloomfield MBE said: “All our nominees, nominators and guests enjoyed the evening and I was very pleased to host this event which acknowledged the outstanding work undertaken by the voluntary and community sector in the Lisburn Castlereagh area.”

This year the council received award nominations from all different sectors within in the Lisburn Castlereagh area including: community, health and well-being, active lifestyles, faith based, education, counselling and listening, environmental, conservation, supporting people with disabilities, women’s, men’s and youth groups, arts, sports and music.

Lisburn & Castlereagh Citizens Advice won the Team Spirit Award which Martin Busch collected from Mayor Brian Bloomfield MBE and Wendy Osborne OBE, Chief Executive of Volunteer Now.

Lisburn & Castlereagh Citizens Advice won the Team Spirit Award which Martin Busch collected from Mayor Brian Bloomfield MBE and Wendy Osborne OBE, Chief Executive of Volunteer Now.

Cllr Bloomfield continued: “The scheme was refreshed this year to recognise the hard work and dedication of all those working within our communities, as well as those who give up their time to volunteer. It is the selfless work of these individuals and organisations that help to build communities and make the lives of people of all ages better.

“It has been inspirational to see the amount of work that goes on within our communities and the valuable, constructive impacts that these deeds have had across so many areas of need throughout the council area.”

The Mayor thanked the council’s partners - the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, Volunteer Now and the Education Authority - for their input into the Awards which, he said, demonstrated great inter-agency working.

Praising the district’s “unsung heroes” for their efforts, Councillor Tim Morrow, Chairman of the council’s Leisure & Community Development Committee, commented: “The council operates this awards scheme through its Community Services Section to give back to local individuals and groups within the council area and to publicly acknowledge all the good work they do either at home or in the community. Without these unsung heroes there is a lot of valuable work that would not take place in the Lisburn Castlereagh area and it is a privilege for the council to honour the dedication of local individuals and groups.”

Following the success of this year’s event, the council has confirmed that the Mayor’s Community Awards will return in 2018.

Julie-Ann Jackson from Seymour Hill & Conway Residents' Association won the Office Bearer of the Year Award which was presented by Mayor Brian Bloomfield MBE and Lynda Vladeanu, South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust.

Julie-Ann Jackson from Seymour Hill & Conway Residents' Association won the Office Bearer of the Year Award which was presented by Mayor Brian Bloomfield MBE and Lynda Vladeanu, South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust.

The winner of the Brian McDowell Life-Long Commitment Award was Robert Rea of Brooklands Youth Centre. The award was collected by his wife Rhonda Rea, who is pictured with Mayor Brian Bloomfield MBE.

The winner of the Brian McDowell Life-Long Commitment Award was Robert Rea of Brooklands Youth Centre. The award was collected by his wife Rhonda Rea, who is pictured with Mayor Brian Bloomfield MBE.

The Arts & Culture Award was won by Peter Johnston of Moneyreagh Community Association. It was presented by Mayor Brian Bloomfield MBE and Councillor Tim Morrow, Chairman of the council's Leisure & Community Development Committee.

The Arts & Culture Award was won by Peter Johnston of Moneyreagh Community Association. It was presented by Mayor Brian Bloomfield MBE and Councillor Tim Morrow, Chairman of the council's Leisure & Community Development Committee.

Mairead Hamer collected the Community Impact Award on behalf of the winners, Cedar Inclusion Matters. She is pictured with Mayor Brian Bloomfield MBE and Jim Rose, Director of Leisure & Community Services.

Mairead Hamer collected the Community Impact Award on behalf of the winners, Cedar Inclusion Matters. She is pictured with Mayor Brian Bloomfield MBE and Jim Rose, Director of Leisure & Community Services.