Aidan Crawford from Ballymena, has been named Charity Champion of the Year at the 2017 Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards sponsored by Specsavers.

Working with disadvantaged people

Aidan is Northern Ireland Regional Manager at the Society of St Vincent de Paul, a Christian voluntary organisation which works with poor and disadvantaged people in Northern Ireland and overseas through providing help, support, friendship and better social justice.

'As well as helping local people break the cycle of poverty, Aidan has also been involved in gathering and distributing aid to Syrian refugees.’

Specsavers support

Ballymena store director, Valerie Penney, said: ‘We at Specsavers are so thrilled and proud to be title sponsor of such a special event which celebrates the unsung heroes in our communities across Northern Ireland. It was brilliant to see Aidan from our own town being recognised for his contribution to the community both here and overseas especially as there were over 1,000 entries this year.’

Unsung heroes and celebrities

The annual awards recognise and celebrate unsung community heroes – ordinary people who are doing extraordinary things to make a real difference in Northern Ireland, touching the hearts of their neighbours along the way. The Awards event was attended by Sky presenter Eamonn Holmes, stars from Coronation Street, Emmerdale, The Fall and Holby City as well as sporting celebrities such as Michael O’Neill and Craig Gilroy.

Entertainment was provided by Britain’s Got Talent finalists, St Patrick’s Junior Choir from Drumgreenagh and Boyzlife singers Keith Duffy and Brian McFadden.

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