Moneydig Rural Network has clinched two prestigious titles in the Housing Executive’s 2020 Rural Community Awards.
Picking up the Rural Community Spirit Award 2020 for North Region in the Small Village category, the local group was delighted to win.
Patricia McQuillan MBE, Secretary of Moneydig Rural Network also scooped the Rural Community Champion Award 2020 for her long-standing community efforts.
During the Covid-19 crisis, Moneydig Rural Network went to great lengths to ensure the local community was well cared for such as providing a befriending service to check on residents.
Volunteers also organised a live band and dancers to entertain vulnerable groups in the village, as well as running sunflower growing competitions and delivering essential goods to vulnerable people.
Patricia said it was humbling for the group to receive the title and she thanked the Housing Executive for her Community Champion Award.
She added; “It is lovely for Moneydig Rural Network to be recognised for all of our efforts, especially during the last year and managing the Covid-19 crisis.
“We have been especially busy with our foodbank and a number of other community initiatives that we had running during this time.
“Thank you to the Housing Executive for the funding which enabled us to push forward with our volunteering work and helping those in need and who were socially isolated.”
“We managed to reach out and help so many people in the community when they needed it the most.
“I have been volunteering now for 21 years and this is the first time I have ever been called a Community Champion, which is just lovely recognition.
“I was presented with the award from the Housing Executive on my birthday and received a beautiful bunch of flowers – which really brightened my day.
“A huge thank you also to Chairperson, Mary Gibson for her continued support and help with everything.”
Patricia is also a member of several stakeholder groups, which provide and encourage the regeneration of rural areas.
Mark Alexander, Causeway Area Manager for the Housing Executive, congratulated Moneydig Rural Network and Patricia on their achievements.
He said; “Well done to Moneydig Rural Network who have scooped this award after reaching out to organise activities and events that have helped people within the local community.
“This award is a clear reflection of the group about how much they care for the well-being of local residents and support they have offered them at a time when it has been greatly needed.
“A big congratulations to Patricia who took home the Community Champion Award which is our first ever individual award.
“It was introduced in recognition that very often, one extraordinary community member has a vision and determination to greatly help local communities – and Patricia is a true example of that person.”