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Thursday night past say the Confederation of Community Groups (CCG) Annual ‘Shining Light’ Awards for community volunteers taking place in The Canal Court Hotel, Newry.

Almost five hundred people from a broad range of community and voluntary organisations attended the event with Raymond Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of the Confederation of Community Groups, welcoming the guests. Guests included Naomi Bailie, Chairperson, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and MP for Newry and Armagh Mr. Mickey Brady.

Ryan Mc Givern and Dearbhla Markey, Carnagat Youth Group won the Youth Work category at the Confederation of Community Groups, Patricia Graham Shining Light Community Volunteering Awards 2015. Maurice Rocks, Red Rock Training, sponsor is pictured presenting the trophy. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Ryan Mc Givern and Dearbhla Markey, Carnagat Youth Group won the Youth Work category at the Confederation of Community Groups, Patricia Graham Shining Light Community Volunteering Awards 2015. Maurice Rocks, Red Rock Training, sponsor is pictured presenting the trophy. Photograph: Columba O'Hare

Opening the event Mr Jackson said “I extend a cordial welcome to you all and in particular our invited guests including our First Citizen, Naomi Bailie and MP or Newry and Armagh, Mr Mickey Brady. 

"The ‘Shining Light’ Community Volunteering Awards were established by the Confederation of Community Groups to celebrate the life and work of the CCG’s own Patricia Graham who sadly passed away in 2009. Patricia was employed by the Confederation and as a volunteer she gave countless hours of her time to many community projects within this area.

"Tonight’s event is the culmination of many weeks of hard work by CCG staff reflecting the energy and enthusiasm of the volunteers being recognised here this evening. On behalf of the Confederation I would also like to pay tribute to the adjudication panel including Hugh Mallon (St Joseph’s Boys HS), Frances Mc Carthy (Newry Credit Union), Colette Ruddy (Community Volunteer) and Seánin Graham (Family Representative), for taking the time to assess the many nominations we received."

Michelle Casey, Sainsburys, sponsors congratulates the joint winners in the Older People's Services category at the Confederation of Community Groups, Patricia Graham Shining Light Community Volunteering Awards 2015. Joey Mc Kinley represented Mullaghbawn Reminiscence Café – Alzheimers Society and Dora South represented Good Day Good Carer. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Michelle Casey, Sainsburys, sponsors congratulates the joint winners in the Older People's Services category at the Confederation of Community Groups, Patricia Graham Shining Light Community Volunteering Awards 2015. Joey Mc Kinley represented Mullaghbawn Reminiscence Café – Alzheimers Society and Dora South represented Good Day Good Carer. Photograph: Columba O'Hare

Mr Jackson concluded “On behalf of the CCG’ s voluntary board I would like to take this take this opportunity to emphasise that the ‘Shining Light’ Community Volunteering Awards are established, not as a competition among groups but as a means to recognise and promote the incredible work of the community and voluntary sector in this area. The Confederation would like to congratulate everyone who was nominated for an Award, the wide range of nominations received highlights the rich tapestry of volunteering which is evident throughout the area."

The Chief Executive thanked CCG Staff, The Canal Court Hotel, main sponsors Newry Credit Union and all the sponsors who helped make the event such a wonderful occasion.

Speaking on the night Council Chairperson Naomi Bailie said “Tonight we are recognising and paying tribute to the many volunteers who work tirelessly for the benefit of local communities throughout the area. 

Nominees in the Community Group/ Association category at the Confederation of Community Groups, Patricia Graham Shining Light Community Volunteering Awards 2015 pictured with sponsor Pauline Coghlan, Newry and Mourne Enterprise Agency. Front from left: Martina Marks, Newry and Mourne M.E. / Fibromyalgia Support Group; John Magennis, Derrybeg Community Association, winners and Pauline Coghlan. Back: Geraldine Merendino, Ballybot Community Association; Alicia Mc Kevitt, Autism Mums; David Hunter, Newry Street Unite Community Association and Aidan Gill, Eariwig Festival. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Nominees in the Community Group/ Association category at the Confederation of Community Groups, Patricia Graham Shining Light Community Volunteering Awards 2015 pictured with sponsor Pauline Coghlan, Newry and Mourne Enterprise Agency. Front from left: Martina Marks, Newry and Mourne M.E. / Fibromyalgia Support Group; John Magennis, Derrybeg Community Association, winners and Pauline Coghlan. Back: Geraldine Merendino, Ballybot Community Association; Alicia Mc Kevitt, Autism Mums; David Hunter, Newry Street Unite Community Association and Aidan Gill, Eariwig Festival. Photograph: Columba O'Hare

"Newry,  Mourne and Down District Council are particularly happy to be associated with this event and to witness the range and quality of nominations which this year has surpassed all expectations. We are further delighted with the fantastic level of support on display here tonight. The important contribution made by local volunteers to ensuring that the Newry & Mourne area continues to be a vibrant and friendly place in which to live, cannot be overstated. Newry, Mourne and Down District Council believes that it is vital that the work carried out by local volunteers is formally recognised both by their colleagues in the community/ voluntary sector and also, as in tonight’s event, by the private sector and by ourselves in the statutory sector."

The Chairperson concluded "I would like to commend all associated with tonight’s celebration. The CCG’s ‘Shining Light’ Awards puts community volunteering in the spotlight and is in itself a good example of a positive inter - community event.”

‘Shining Light’ Community Volunteering Awards 2015 Nominees and Winners

Category 16 – 24        Sponsor:  First Derivatives Ltd, Newry 

Aoife Mc Ateer - Citizens Advice Bureau

Rose Ellen Carlon - Greater Linenhall Area Community Association (Winner)

Kaitlin Carlon - Greater Linenhall Area Community Association

Category 25 – 49     Sponsor:  Newry, Mourne and Down District Council

Adrian Moore - Carnagat Area Community Association (Winner)

Fra Mc Guigan - Carnagat Area Community Association

Mary Morgan - Chatterbox Speech Club – N&M Down Syndrome

Glenda Douglas - Work4UPlus Programme – N&M Enterprise Agency

Rory Rafferty - Newry Rainbow Community

Regina Rodgers - Good Morning Newry & Mourne

Geraldine Mc Aleenan - Greater Linenhall Area Community Association

Seamus Smyth - Mayobridge Lourdes Committee – Mayobridge Women

Category 50 – 64     Sponsor:  Newry Credit Union Ltd, Newry 

Seamus Curran - Kingdom Youth Club

Gloria Havern - Ballyholland Sunshine Club

Roishin Magennis - South Down Community Rescue Service

Fiona Mc Aleenan - ‘The Swallows’ Womens Group

Jacquelyn Stewart - Work4UPlus Programme – N&M Enterprise Agency

Columba O’Hare - Newry Rainbow Community

Mary Mallon - N&M Senior Citizens Consortium  (joint Winner)

Maureen Ruddy - Alzheimers Society

Robert Trotter - GROW in the North of Ireland

Maria Mc Bride - Action Mental Health New Horizons

James Mc Arevey - Newry Maritime Association

Bernie Sloan - Good Morning Good Neighbour (joint Winner)

Category 65+  Sponsor:  Haldane Fishers Ltd, Newry  

Frank Johnstone - Newry Felons Club

Mary Burns - Annalong Community Association (joint Winner)

Pat Courtney - Citizens Advice Bureau

Jim Mc Ardle - Three Ways Community Association

Brendan Hodgers - Ti Chullainn Cultural Centre

Mary Dennison - M.S. Society

May Patton - N&M M.E. / Fibromyalgia Support Group (joint Winner)

Category:  Community Project / Service   Sponsor:  The Quays Shopping Centre , Newry 

Preservation and Promotion of Newry’s Maritime History – Newry Maritime Association

Davina’s Ark

Little Stars – Barcroft Community Association

South Down Community Rescue Service (Winners)

Newry Rainbow Community Women’s Group

Happy Faces ‘The Willow Project’ / Colour you Happy

The Rainbow Club Crossmaglen

Category:  Youth Work –  Sponsor Red Rock Training

Bumps & Babies (joint Winners)

Carnagat Youth Group (joint Winners)

Carrivemaclone / Lisdrumliska Youth Programme

Greater Linenhall Area Community Association – Summer Scheme

Three Ways Youth Project

Category:  Older People’s Services Sponsor:  Sainsbury’s, Newry 

Mullaghbawn Reminiscence Café – Alzheimers Society (joint Winner)

An Ríocht Social Initiative Group

Newry University of the Third Age

Good Day Good Carer (joint Winner)

Category:  Community Group / Association  Sponsor:  Newry & Mourne Enterprise Agency

Ballybot Community Association

Autism Mums

N&M M.E. / Fibromyalgia Support Group

Newry Street Unite Community Association

Eariwig Festival

Derrybeg Community Association (Winners)

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