Limerick groups presented with top Pride of Place Awards 2016.
Pictured at the Pride of Place Awards 2016 ceremony are representatives fromBroadford Development Association, Co Limerick along with Dr Christopher Moran, Chairman Co-operation Ireland and Tom Dowling, Chairman of the Pride of Place Committee.
At the annual Pride of Place Awards 2016 Ceremony on Saturday, 26 November, two groups from Co Limerick were presented with top awards in the Competition.
Broadford Development Association took top place in category one, which is for neighbourhoods with a population of less than 300, while Liskennett Farm – St Joseph’s Foundation took one of the Special awards.
On Broadford Development Association, the judges said, “No project is too daunting or initiative too onerous for the category winning community. They have undertaken a prodigious amount of work through the years including developing social housing, providing great sporting facilities, building an enterprise centre and many other initiatives. This above all is a caring community with a wonderful cohort of young people justifiably and demonstrably proud of their place”.
Regarding Liskennett Farm, the judges said, “the award goes to a truly inspiring initiative focusing on the well-being of a target group. It demonstrated what can be achieved with attention to detail, single-mindedness and dedication in delivering a service that is making a real difference. The testimonials from the families of the end users were telling indeed. Positive care and support is required for persons who have autism. It is being provided here in this wonderful rural setting.”
The winners of the Pride of Place awards 2016, known affectionately by many as the ‘Community Oscars’, were announced at the special gala event in Belfast Waterfront Hall in front of an audience of approximately 1000 guests and VIPs with many more people tuning in on-line to watch the live broadcast of the ceremony.
Now in its 14th year, the all-island Pride of Place Awards promotes and celebrates the best in community development and recognises the selfless efforts of people in making their neighbourhoods better places to live, work and socialise. This year, broad spectrums of groups were nominated, ranging from small rural communities to inner-city housing estates.
The Pride of Place Awards 2016 are divided into three awards sections – the main, the cities and the special awards and during the evening a total of 53 awards were announced by TV personality, Claire McCollum. The awards ceremony was hosted by Belfast City Council, with the Belfast School of Music, Streetwise Community Circus, Belfast Community Gospel Choir and The James Peak Experience providing the entertainment.
The winners were presented with their awards by Lord Mayor of Belfast Alderman Brian Kingston, Councillor Matt Garrett, Chairperson of Belfast City Council’s People and Communities Committee, Dr. Christopher Moran, Chairman Co-operation Ireland, Tom Dowling Chairman of the Pride of Place Committee and George Jones, Chairman of IPB, the event sponsors.
Belfast Lord Mayor Alderman Brian Kingston said: “We were honoured to host this prestigious ceremony and to welcome friends and colleagues from across the island of Ireland to Belfast to celebrate the important work being done, much of it by dedicated volunteers, to improve quality of life in our cities, towns and villages and to create vibrant, supportive communities. I’d like to offer my congratulations to all the Pride of Place winners and nominees alike – you’re truly inspirational people and set a great example for others to follow.”
Tom Dowling, founder of the event and Chair of the Pride of Place Committee congratulated all the groups. He said: “Each year the competition continues to grow with communities nominated by Local Authorities all over Ireland, demonstrating their pride in their place to our judges.”
Speaking at the ceremony, George Jones, Chairman of IPB insurance said:
“As a mutual insurer, we share in the ethos of collaboration. Which embodies the very spirit of Pride of Place. Everyone nominated tonight is clear proof of the power of the collective and what can be done when people work together to achieve a common goal. It is truly humbling to be n the company of so many people who give freely of their time to make their communities a better place, a place which you can be proud to call your home.”
Peter Sheridan, Chief Executive Co-operation Ireland said:
“The Pride of Place Competition was set up 14 years ago to recognise for the outstanding contribution people make to society. It gives local authorities a platform to acknowledge the work local groups in there are doing and each year practically every local authority on the island nominates groups who they see as doing exceptional work in their area.
“For Co-operation Ireland, this competition is an opportunity to bring people together and share ideas and best practice. Tonight we see at first hand how people can make a real positive change to society. I congratulate all the winners but also the winners. everyone nominated but especially all the winners.
“Co-operation Ireland would not be able to run such a substantial competition without the support of our sponsors IPB, our judging panel, the Pride of Place Committee and everyone who works to make it a success. I would like Belfast City Council for hosting this wonderful awards ceremony and giving us the opportunity to celebrate each other’s achievements.”
Junior Minister, Megan Fearon said: “It’s an honour to attend tonight’s Pride of Place Awards and recognise the great work community groups and volunteers are doing in their areas to make them better places to live, work and socialise. At the heart of these awards, is local people coming together to shape, change and enjoy all that is good in their neighbourhood, whether it be a town, village or city.
“Working together is key and tonight has recognised very deserving winners but also highlighted the wonderful work of many more community groups and individuals across Ireland who are all playing a very important part in improving their communities.
“Collaborative working resonates with our aims for the Executive’s Programme for Government. We will work together with organisations and individuals in the true spirit of partnership to make real, meaningful societal changes for the better.
“This event shows what brilliant results can be achieved with hard work, imagination and by working together, and I very much hope it inspires others to get involved in their own areas to help make a positive difference.”