Litter legends and waste warriors assemble for prestigious awards

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Volunteers recently gathered for the third annual Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful Community Awards, where Anna Neal was presented with the Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council Litter Heroes Award.

The evening was designed to recognise and thank all the volunteers who had been short listed for their continued hard work and dedication to the cause – with an opportunity to hear their inspirational stories which instil pride in our local communities through practical environmental action.

The awards ceremony was hosted by TV presenter Joe Mahon and guest speaker Jo Ruxton, filmmaker and campaigner who opened the eyes of the world to the problems of plastic in A Plastic Ocean and influenced Blue Planet II.

Anna won the award for creating www.protectourpristineseas.com, where she shares her passion for our oceans with others.

She organised 13 beach cleans in 2018, the most recent of which attracted over 30 people.

Anna has turned her passion for the oceans into action, has raised awareness and gathered the community together, including the harbour authorities who joined their most recent clean.

Live Here Love Here Manager Jodie McAneaney commented: “These awards are so important, they give us the opportunity to highlight the issues and reward those who are actively making a difference.

“Plastic in particular has been hitting the headlines this year with its devastating effects, making our special guest Jo Ruxton the perfect candidate to inspire us to really strive for change.

“The fact that every piece of plastic ever created is still on the planet is a real eye opener.

“Hopefully in 2019 our continued efforts and that of our volunteers and partners can make steps towards tackling this terrible problem.”