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Spirited community awards

03 July, 2017
Victoria Square store director Neil Kerr (centre) is pictured with guests at the Sunday Life Spirit of NI Awards supported by Sp
Victoria Square store director Neil Kerr (centre) is pictured with guests at the Sunday Life Spirit of NI Awards supported by Specsavers

The Specsavers Victoria Square team joined winners, guests and a host of celebrities for this year’s Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards supported by Specsavers.

The NI wide awards programme honours our local unsung heroes and 10 remarkable winners were in the spotlight and their huge contribution to their local communities highlighted.

10 wonderful winners

Winners spanned ten categories and included Cara McCartan aged 7 who supports her deaf parents and picked up the Spirit of Youth award whilst the education award went to former vice-principal Gordon Cameron who volunteers with the Belfast Giants.

The Overcoming Adversity Award was received by Andrea McAleese who set up a community based Angel of Hope garden in Coleraine after the tragic death of her young daughter.

Omagh fire man Terry Canning won the Spirit of Sport trophy and 999 Hero was awarded to police officer Mark Wright who saved a woman and her children and his colleague following a knife attack.

Inspirational people

This year’s Charity Champion was presented to Aidan Crawford who has secured aid for Syrian refugee camps through the Society of St Vincent de Paul and Strabane lady Mary McAuley who has devoted her life to providing children with a loving and happy home through adoption and foster care took the Caring Spirit award.

Children’s community nurse Rosie Mulholland goes above and beyond for the children she supports and cares for, despite facing challenges in her own life. Rosie won the Spirit of Health Award.

Sean McLaughlin’s actions to save his elderly neighbours following a fire were recognised with the Unsung Hero award and the Overall Spirit of NI Award went to Portrush man Willie Gregg who has raised over £1/4 million for those who suffered following the 2004 tsunami and has flown to Thailand to give practical help and work voluntarily alongside several charities.

UTV programme

Over 350 People attended the star-studded event at the Culloden Hotel. Hosted by UTV’s Marc Mallett and Pamela Ballantine, UTV filmed the awards ceremony with broadcast showings in June and July.

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