An Antrim-based eating disorders team has won a major award at the Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards sponsored by Specsavers and hosted by television celebrities Pamela Ballantine and Marc Mallet.

CAMHS team

Part of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) located at Antrim Area Hospital, the team claimed the Spirit of Health award which was presented by Emmerdale actress Gaynor Faye and Aideen Duggan, Managing Director of category sponsor Keenan Healthcare at a gala dinner held in the Crowne Plaza Belfast.

Founded by Jackie Nelson, the CAMHS team includes Dr Maggie McGurgan, Sinead Hutchinson, Carmel Milne, Sonia Jain and Leona Dunne.

Spirit of Northern Ireland

The annual Spirit of Northern Ireland awards event comprises ten categories and celebrates unsung heroes who have made a difference to the lives of people across Northern Ireland. The judging panel included golfer Darren Clarke, Derry Girls and Game of Thrones actor Ian McElhinney, Specsavers director Tony McGinn and Sunday Life editor Martin Breen.

Exceptional service

Specsavers Antrim store director Davin Quinn said: ‘Specsavers has sponsored these awards for eight consecutive years. Year on year the stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things continue to humble and inspire all of us.

'With over 1000 entries this year, the judging panel had an extremely challenging job and we are delighted that one of the awards has come back to Antrim. CAMHS provides an exceptional service and has made a tangible difference to the lives of many young people in the local area.’

Above and Beyond

The Spirit of Health award is given to an individual or group working in any medical profession who has gone above and beyond to improve the health and wellbeing of patients.

Works tirelessly

Davin added: ‘Eating disorders account for a high percentage of mental health problems experienced by young people in Northern Ireland. These are further exasperated by social media, glossy magazines and bullying.

'Despite these challenges the CAMHS team works tirelessly every day to help young people and their families tackle these illnesses and reach the road to recovery. The service provides both physical and psychological treatment, understanding that a holistic, family-based approach can deliver the best results.’

All Antrim store information