“This Christmas time I would like to take the opportunity to praise and acknowledge the fabulous people and organisations that work tirelessly 365 days a year to make this district and the people who live here, a better place”.
“It has been my pleasure to serve the people of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council since becoming Chairperson in May. I have met with volunteers and community workers who work tirelessly to bind and grow our community cohesion. They have organised festivals and celebrations to promote our shared culture. They fundraise and care for our sick and disadvantaged, they fight to save our local healthcare services and they run our community youth and sports clubs. It has been a privilege to attend their events and offer my support to the work they do. They are the lifeline of our community and while other services will close over the Christmas holiday period and we take some time off to spend with family, these people and organisations will still continue to work and operate for anyone in need. They all deserve our support and our gratitude”.
“In October the district launched its first Community Plan, ‘Living Well Together’, which has been designed to develop and improve the delivery of public services in the district between now and 2030, by providing a common framework for all statutory, community and voluntary organisations working together. My nominated charities, Davina’s Ark, the Mental Health Forum and Women’s Aid, were chosen to reflect the crucial and unceasing effort and the vast network of community activists throughout the district and whose work cuts across many of the themes of our Community Plan. I was proud to host my recent Chairperson’s Christmas Charity Concert in aid of them. This was a fabulous, festive evening which raised much needed funds for the very important service each provides and I would like to thank everyone who came along to support the event.”
Since becoming Chairperson I have been very proud to host a range of Civic awards and receptions. Many have celebrated and highlighted our wealth of business talent, food producers and manufactures and I have been particularly struck by the entrepreneurship that exists, determined that our region should be recognised as a vibrant and dynamic area driving forward sustainable economic growth. As you prepare your Christmas shopping lists over the next few weeks, I would encourage you to ‘Shop Local’ and support our SME’s which work tirelessly to enhance the area in which we live and work. This way you will also contribute to the economic growth of our area, keeping jobs and services on our doorsteps and within our local communities”.
“Finally, as we prepare our homes and wrap our presents it is important that we think of our neighbours, the elderly, the sick or vulnerable and those who have recently experienced loss or hardship. Please do what you can to extend the Christmas period beyond your own home and help in any way you can”.
“On behalf of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, I would like to wish everyone a happy and peaceful Christmas and hope that 2018 will be prosperous and healthy for us all”.