The search is on for Northern Ireland’s unsung heroes as the 2016 Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards with Specsavers returns, and judges are calling upon the public to nominate their local unsung heroes for a chance to be crowned the Spirit of Northern Ireland in 2016. The annual awards ceremony, which will again be televised by UTV, seeks to honour all those who make a real difference everyday across Northern Ireland.

New categories for 2016
Last year’s Overall Spirit of Northern Ireland winner was Lurgan’s Jay Beatty, who stole both fans and players’ hearts when he won the Scottish Premiership ‘Goal of the Month’ award. Celtic-mad Jay, who has Downs Syndrome, was presented with the Overall Spirit of Northern Ireland award by former X Factor judge, Louis Walsh, for his work in raising awareness of the condition. For this year’s ceremony, organisers have introduced a range of new categories to help ensure all of the remarkable and inspirational people in local communities get the acknowledgement they deserve.

There are now 10 categories, which are: Unsung Hero, Overcoming Adversity, Spirit of Youth, 999 Hero, Charity Champion, Spirit of Health, Spirit of Education, Caring Spirit Award, Spirit of Sport and the Overall Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland Award.

Nominate to enter prize draw
The unique Northern Ireland-wide search will give recognition to ordinary people who are doing extraordinary things to help others.

Brian O’Kane, Specsavers Northern Ireland chairman said; “Whether for demonstrating a spirit of compassion, neighbourliness, charity, enterprise, courage or devotion, all nominations are welcome. All those who submit nominations through an email or by filling in a form at any of our regional stores, will automatically be entered into a prize draw to win a £150 eye-care voucher and a VIP experience at the awards on Friday 27th May, including an overnight stay at the Culloden Estate & Spa, courtesy of Specsavers.

“Specsavers Northern Ireland is delighted to be part of these awards again. Each year we’re equally moved and blown away by the stories of courage, kindness and selflessness that emerge from the awards.”

To make a nomination, simply explain in 50-100 words why this person is worthy of a Spirit of Northern Ireland Award and email to or fill in a form available at a local Specsavers store. The closing date for nominations is Friday April 22.

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