Council Celebrates Success at Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful Awards
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is celebrating the success of local organisations at the Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful Community Awards, which was held in Belfast City Hall on Tuesday 12 February.
The evening was designed to recognise and thank all the volunteers who had been shortlisted for their hard work and dedication to making the environment cleaner, greener, safer and more sustainable through practical environmental action.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairman, Councillor Mark Murnin welcomed the achievement of local volunteers, saying, “I am delighted that so many of our district’s groups and organisations have been recognised for their commitment to improving our environment and I am proud of their achievements.
“The work that each group has undertaken is of huge importance—not only does it impact positively on the environment, it also provides an opportunity for people to become involved in improving their local community.”
Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership (SLLP) received the Spirit of Live Here Love Here Award, presented by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs. Their Coastal Guardian Volunteer group is made up of walkers, water sports enthusiasts, members of the local community and others who are passionate about their area. By carrying out ‘extreme clean-ups’, they tackle the marine litter along the coastline in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and focus on places that are difficult to reach. Last year, for example, volunteers tackled the large quantity of accumulated litter in Ardglass Harbour, funded by a Live Here Love Here small grant. Since 2017, the SLLP Coastal Guardian volunteer group has helped to clean-up approximately three miles of coastline and remove approximately three tonnes of litter from the shores.
The Newry, Mourne and Down Litter Heroes Award went to Newry Reporter which has focused on improving the centre of Newry by picking up litter, weeding streets and underpasses, repairing river walls, and identifying ownership of abandoned land.
The Adopt a Spot Award was won by the Shimna Integrated College’s Eco Warriors, which has worked to develop good community relationships with their neighbours, particularly Glenfold Housing, by cleaning up their school grounds as well as a wooded area in Donard Park. The Eco Warriors planted raised beds in the school grounds and at Glenfold, the produce of which will be used by local residents, supply the school canteen and a stall at Mourne Markets.
The Good Neighbour Award, presented by Choice Housing, went to Lawrence Murphy of the Saintfield Development Association who has been an inspiration as a community activist. Mr Murphy can often be found cutting grass, planting or litter picking early in the morning or late at night.
George Raymond Smyth, from Ardglass Development Association, picked up the Coast Care Award, sponsored by Coca Cola HBC, for his tireless work as a volunteer at marine litter picks in Ardglass. Besides being a stalwart litter picker, George has also devoted his time to laying out the community garden.Back