Another successful year for the Ballymena community awards.
Almost 150 people from right across Ballymena came together on Wednesday 8th November at The Braid to recognise the countless ‘Community Heroes’ that make Ballymena what it is today. The evening was filled with inspiring stories from those who dedicate so much of their time to improve their community. The ceremony would not have been possible without our sponsors – Awards for All Big Lottery funding, Ballymena Business Centre, Ballymena Rotary Club and Mid & East Antrim Borough Council.
The event was hosted by the Ballymena Community Clusters which consists of North Ballymena, Ballymena South, Ballymena East and Bann Maine West Community Clusters. Each cluster is made up of representatives from community groups in their area. Eleven categories were set and nominations were invited from everyone in Ballymena to nominate someone they felt had made a real difference in their local community. Having more nominations this year than ever before, this made the judging very tough. After much deliberation, judges from Ballymena rotary Club and Larne Community Development Project had the difficult task of choosing the winners as follows:
- North Ballymena Group of the Year – Doury Road Development Group Youth Committee
- Ballymena South Group of the Year – Ballee Community Association
- Ballymena East Group of the Year – Glenravel & District Community Association
- Bann Maine West Group of the Year – Cullybackey Community Partnership
- Man of the Year – Alistair Donaghy, Ballymena
- Women of the Year – Marion Maguire, Glenravel
- Older Persons Champion – Teresa Graham, Cloney Rural Development Group
- Youth Champion – Bright Stars Special Needs Youth Club
- Green Award – Patricia McQuillan, Dunclug Partnership
- Business Contribution to the Community – The Front Page, Ballymena
- Lifetime Achievement – Roy Kerr, Cullybackey
The Clusters were honoured to have local legend Jackie Fullerton MBE to compare the evening, providing introductions and entertainment throughout the event including a spontaneous rendition of the Frank Sinatra classic ‘My Way’. Nominees were joined by Mid & East Antrim Borough Council Chief Executive Anne Donaghy as well as local Councillors and Council officials. During the break, guests enjoyed the beautiful voice of a local girl, Shannyn Havelin, singing ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ from the musical ‘Les Misérables’. The ceremony ended with a surprise Special Contribution to the Community Award which was presented to Mr Brian Holmes for past and continued support of communities throughout the province, in particular, the Ballymena Community Enabling Scheme Wind-turbine Project.
The Clusters would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who supported the event and a massive well done to not only the winners but to all those who were nominated.