The search is on for Newtownards’ unsung heroes as the 2017 Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards in association with Specsavers are launched. Judges are looking for who you, the local community, best captures the Spirit of Northern Ireland.

Making a difference

The awards, which will once again be televised by ITV, seek to honour all those who make a difference across Northern Ireland through 10 categories. They include Overcoming Adversity, Charity Champion, Spirit of Education, 999 Hero and the Overall Spirit of Northern Ireland Award.

Leigh Nelson, store director at Specsavers Newtownards attended the launch at UTV with event hosts Marc Mallett and Pamela Ballantine. She commented: ‘These awards are a fantastic way to honour our unsung heroes throughout the country, giving them something back. I know we have some incredibly selfless members of the public here in Newtownards who have given their time and care to their neighbours, have overcome their own adversities and have truly made a difference – this is our chance to honour them.

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 Forms are also available to fill in, in all Specsavers stores in Northern Ireland.


The awards will take place on Friday 16 June at Culloden Estate & Spa, with a host of celebrities in attendance from the likes of Game of Thrones, Emmerdale, The Fall and Coronation Street. The entertainment for this year’s awards will be a special set from Boyzlife, the band formed by Boyzone singer Keith Duffy and Westlife’s Brian McFadden.

Tickets cost £65 which includes dinner, table wine and entertainment and can be purchased from JComms, Sylvan House, Belmont Office Park, 232-240 Belmont Road, Belfast, BT4 2AW; by phone on 028 9076 0066 or by emailing:

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