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Rural communities win £4000

Published: Thur, 10 Nov 2016
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Minister for Communities, Paul Givan congratulates the winners from Strathfoyle Eamonn O'Donnell, Jack Long & Ann Gormley
Enagh Youth Forum was one of four rural communities which each won £1,000 in the Housing Executive’s Rural Community Awards competition 2016.
We were delighted with the interest shown in what was the third year of the Rural Community Awards. The awards ceremony took place at the Tullylagan House Hotel in Cookstown on Wednesday 9th November.
The awards aim to reward rural communities working to foster a vibrant community in their areas and competition entries highlighted the tremendous work being carried out in rural communities across Northern Ireland.
Our Rural Community Awards illustrated the high level of community activity by those who are making a contribution to improving, not just the environment, but also the community spirit within rural areas.
Presenting the winners with their cheques, the Minister for Communities, Paul Givan, said:
‘Local group activities, social events and support services can be a lifeline  for  isolated and dispersed communities, who often do not enjoy the same access to services and facilities as our towns and cities.  
“For the most part this work is carried out by local volunteers who give up evenings and weekends to make things happen. Today is about celebrating these community champions and volunteers, showcasing the projects they have undertaken, the people they have reached out to and recognising the difference they have made within their rural communities. ‘    
Siobhan McCauley, our Director of Regional Services, commented:
“At the Housing Executive we recognise the importance of our Rural Community with a dedicated unit.  We have been working hard to help build strong vibrant communities across all rural communities in Northern Ireland and entries to our competition have highlighted, once again, the tremendous work being carried out.  
“Working with rural communities is essential for effective rural development. The Housing Executive Rural Community Awards are an excellent example of positive engagement in recognising the best of the rural community.
“I would like to pay tribute to all those who are actively engaged in their communities, making their contribution to improving not just the environment but also the community spirit within their rural neighbourhood.”
Eamonn O’Donnell from the Enagh Youth Forum said:  
“On behalf of the Enagh Youth Forum, I am delighted to accept the Community Spirit Large Village Award at this year’s Housing Executive Rural Awards. I would also like to thank the Housing Executive for acknowledging the work in rural areas in helping to promote community spirit through the Rural Awards.
“This award is the culmination of the dedication shown by all local groups in Strathfoyle including Strathfoyle Women's Activity Group, Strathfoyle Community Association, Strathfoyle Library and Tiny Tots Community Play Group; and of course the important role Enagh Youth Forum plays within local community life. This award is recognition for the strong community spirit throughout the Strathfoyle area.”
Our Rural Community Award winners 2016 were:
Community Spirit Award:
  • Small Village: Park - Learmount Community Development Group
  • Large Village: Strathfoyle – Enagh Youth Forum
Cleaner and Greener Award:
  • Small Village: Clady – Clady Cross Community Development Association
  • Large Village: Broughshane – Broughshane Improvement Committee