Annahilt and Magheraconluce Win Housing Executive Award

Annahilt and Magheraconluce scoop a top Housing Executive’s Rural Community Award

Annahilt and Magheraconluce scoop a top Housing Executive’s Rural Community Award

Annahilt and Magheraconluce Community Association have been awarded the Housing Executive’s coveted Rural Community Spirit Award 2021.

The hard-working, dedicated team scooped a £1,000 prize for the association in the annual awards in the South region.

The 2021 competition rewards efforts made by both groups and individuals who reached out and supported rural communities during the Covid-19 crisis.

It also gives rural communities and their local groups a chance to showcase the range of activities that they are involved with, helping to keep their areas vibrant, attractive places to live.

Ian McAllister receives the coveted Rural Community Spirit Award 2021 on behalf of Annahilt and Magheraconluce Community Association. Congratulating the big-hearted team are Housing Executive area manager Des Marley (right) and good relations officer Michelle Rafferty. (Photo courtesy of Housing Executive).

Annahilt and Magheraconluce Community Association received their award for their commitment, resilience and sheer determination to help others.

They played a key role during Covid delivering food parcels and Christmas presents for the elderly and delivering supplies to local care homes. Members also provided craft packs and hosted inter-generational activities for residents, schools and care homes, set up a community book box, gave out hi-vis vests to children and raised money for charity.

The association also organised regular tidy-ups in public areas of the village and provided community information via their website, facebook and newsletter.

Jill Hyndman, Chair of Annahilt and Magheraconluce Community Association, said: “We celebrate our fifth anniversary as a community association this year and this award is just a lovely way to mark this milestone. 

“Our group is a small band of volunteers with a huge passion and drive for helping people, improving our village and enjoying rural village life. Throughout the pandemic we have seen just how small acts of kindness mean so much to people. It has helped us to recognise that our role in the community is important and encouraged us to do more.

“We have a focus on activities to tackle loneliness and isolation, we try to cater for all ages and also focus on inter-generational activity, develop volunteers, and partner with other voluntary and community groups to build capacity,” she said.

“We appreciate the support of the Housing Executive and also wish to thank key funders like Lisburn and Castlereagh Council, Department of Communities and DAERA.  This award is a great boost to all our volunteers and the wider community.”

Des Marley, the Housing Executive’s Lisburn and Castlereagh Area Manager, congratulated the association on their achievement. He said: “A big well done to Annahilt and Magheraconluce on their award. They richly deserves this recognition due to their 99outstanding volunteering work in the area.”

“The association has had a hugely positive impact on the community and has provided vital services and important human contact for people during Covid, which has been a very difficult time for many. They have also encouraged others to take pride in their environment and are to be commended for their efforts.”