Cullybackey Community Partnership take home Rural Award due to Covid-19 efforts

Three people hold boards
Cullybackey Community Partnership: Pictured is Margaret Murphy (Secretary Cullybackey Community partnership) who recently collected the Rural Community Spirit Award Large Village 2020 on behalf of the Cullybackey Community Partnership. Also pictured is Eoin McKinney (Housing Executive Rural Regeneration) and John Read (Housing Executive).

Cullybackey Community Partnership has clinched a £1,000 prize in the Housing Executive’s Rural Community Awards.

Picking up the Rural Community Spirit Award 2020 for North region in the Large Village category, the group was delighted to win.

Due to Covid-19 and lockdown, many local community groups have had to cease their usual activities and quickly refocus their efforts, responding to the pandemic.

The 2020 Rural Community Awards focused on rewarding the efforts made by both groups and individuals to reach out and support residents through the crisis

Cullybackey Community Partnership picked up the Rural Community Spirit Award due to their outstanding work with local residents and contribution to village life.

Chairperson, Paul Christie, said Cullybackey Community Partnership was delighted to be, once again, a recipient of this prestigious award.

He added; “The group has worked hard to involve the community in its work and has taken a pride in bringing various groups together to cover the many aspects of our work.

“We have the support of various youth groups, men’s clubs, businesses, schools and individuals who work together to make Cullybackey a pleasant place to live.”

“This community spirit is vital to our work and winning this award has given us a much needed boost after a difficult year. However it has been a year in which the spirit of the community was more in evidence than ever.”

Cullybackey Community Partnership hosted a Christmas festival, a vast number of cross-community projects and delivered food parcels and household goods throughout the pandemic.

Members also provided herb-growing kits to residents and presented a knitted tribute to the NHS, as well as running a pharmacy project for a number of years to help the elderly.

Mairead Myles Davey, the Housing Executive’s Mid and East Antrim Area Manager congratulated the local group on their win.

She said; “Rural community groups are constantly busy fundraising, helping to organise events and working very hard in order to make life better for people in local communities.

“Members of these groups usually give up their time and do this often on a voluntary basis and these annual awards are in celebration of this.

“Last year, community groups have had to adapt in many ways due to the Covid-19 crisis and so the Rural Community Awards are our way of showing that we appreciate the incredible work that they do.

“Well done to Cullybackey Community Partnership for ensuring local residents were well looked after during this time and also for keeping community spirit alive too when it was needed most.”

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