Community enterprise celebrated at the 2016 IPB Pride of Place Awards Ceremony
Regarded affectionately by many as the ‘Community Oscars’, the 2016 IPB Pride of Place Awards in association with Co-operation Ireland took place last night (26 November) in the Belfast Waterfront. Voluntary groups and organisations from across the island were honoured at the special gala event in front of an audience of approximately 1000 guests and VIPs with many more people tuning in to watch the live stream on-line.
Now in its 14th year, the all-island Pride of Place Awards promotes and celebrates the best in community development and recognises the selfless efforts of people in making their neighbourhoods better places to live, work and socialise. This year a broad spectrum of groups were nominated, ranging from small rural communities to inner city housing estates.
The Pride of Place Awards are divided into three awards sections – the main, the cities and the special awards and during the evening a total of 53 awards were announced by TV personality Claire McCollum. The awards ceremony was hosted by Belfast City Council, with the Belfast School of Music, Streetwise Community Circus, Belfast Community Gospel Choir and The James Peak Experience providing the entertainment.
The winners were presented with their awards by Lord Mayor of Belfast Alderman Brian Kingston, Councillor Matt Garrett, Chairperson of Belfast City Council’s People and Communities Committee, Dr. Christopher Moran, Chairman Co-operation Ireland, Tom Dowling Chairman of the Pride of Place Committee and George Jones, Chairman of IPB, the event sponsors.
Belfast Lord Mayor Alderman Brian Kingston said: “We were honoured to host this prestigious ceremony and to welcome friends and colleagues from across the island of Ireland to Belfast to celebrate the important work being done, much of it by dedicated volunteers, to improve quality of life in our cities, towns and villages and to create vibrant, supportive communities. I’d like to offer my congratulations to all the Pride of Place winners and nominees alike – you’re truly inspirational people and set a great example for others to follow.”
Tom Dowling, founder of the event and Chair of the Pride of Place Committee congratulated all the groups. He said: “Each year the competition continues to grow with communities nominated by Local Authorities all over Ireland, demonstrating their pride in their place to our judges.”
Speaking at the ceremony, George Jones, Chairman of IPB insurance said:
“As a mutual insurer we share in the ethos of collaboration. Which embodies the very spirit of Pride of Place. Everyone nominated tonight is clear proof of the power of the collective and what can be done when people work together to achieve a common goal. It is truly humbling to be n the company of so many people who give freely of their time to make their communities a better place, a place which you can be proud to call your home.”
Peter Sheridan, Chief Executive Co-operation Ireland said:
“The Pride of Place Competition was set up 14 years ago to recognise for the outstanding contribution people make to society. It gives local authorities a platform to acknowledge the work local groups in there are doing and each year practically every local authority on the island nominates groups who they se as doing exceptional work in their area.
“For Co-operation Ireland, this competition is an opportunity to bring people together and share ideas and best practice. Tonight we see at first hand how people can make a real positive change to society.
I congratulate all the winners but also the winners. everyone nominated but especially all the winners.
“Co-operation Ireland would not be able to run such a substantial competition without the support of our sponsors IPB, our judging panel, the Pride of Place Committee and everyone who works to make it a success. I would like Belfast City Council for hosting this wonderful awards ceremony and giving us the opportunity to celebrate each other’s achievements.”
Junior Minister, Megan Fearon said: “It’s an honour to attend tonight’s Pride of Place Awards and recognise the great work community groups and volunteers are doing in their areas to make them better places to live, work and socialise. At the heart of these awards, is local people coming together to shape, change and enjoy all that is good in their neighbourhood, whether it be a town, village or city.
“Working together is key and tonight has recognised very deserving winners but also highlighted the wonderful work of many more community groups and individuals across Ireland who are all playing a very important part in improving their communities.
“Collaborative working resonates with our aims for the Executive’s Programme for Government. We will work together with organisations and individuals in the true spirit of partnership to make real, meaningful societal changes for the better.
“This event shows what brilliant results can be achieved with hard work, imagination and by working together, and I very much hope it inspires others to get involved in their own areas to help make a positive difference.”
Winners of the awards are:
Category 1 – Population –Up to300
Category 2 – Population 300-1000
Category 3 – Population 1,000-2,000
Category 4 – Population 2,000-5,000
Category 5 Population Over 5,000
Category 6 – Age Friendly Community Initiative
Category 7 – Community Social Enterprise
Category 7 – Community Business Enterprise Initiative
Category 8 – Communities Reaching out Initiative
Category 9 - Housing Estates Category
Category 10 – Islands and Coastal Communities
Category 11 – Urban Neighbourhoods
Category 1 – Neighbourhoods Under 1,000
Category 2 – Neighbourhoods 1,000-2,000
Category 3 – Neighbourhoods Over 2,000
Category 4 – Age Friendly Community Initiative
Category 5 –Community Enterprise Initiative
Category 6 – Community Arts Initiative
Special Council Award