NMD Council Celebrates Its Eco Heroes

NMD Council Eco Heroes Celebrated at Live Here Love Here Community Awards 2024

Live Here Love Here, Northern Ireland’s people-powered campaign dedicated to promoting civic pride and fostering environmental stewardship, has announced the recipients of its 2024 Community Awards.

The awards, sponsored by Belfast Harbour and supported by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), took place on Thursday 29 February.

They and celebrated the many individuals, schools, and community organisations, that dedicate their time to improving the environment through activities such as education, litter-picking, and tackling biodiversity loss.

Following a nomination period which was open to the public throughout January, 12 awards were distributed on the evening.

Saintfield Community Association Environment Team received the Newry Mourne and Down District Council Champions Award.

THis award was in recognition of their commitment to carrying out environmental improvement schemes, seasonal planting and weekly tidying activities, including picking up litter on all main roads leading into Saintfield.

Tony Clarke of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive with Joanna McCall of Ark Community Gardens who received the Community Together Award from Lynda Surgenor, Live Here Love Here Manager.

Newcastle’s Ark Community Gardens received the Community Together Award, supported by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, in acknowledgement of their efforts to address community division through environmental action.

Newry Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Valerie Harte said: “Live Here Love Here has a strong civic pride ethos helping local groups to take voluntary and practical environmental action to improve their communities.

“It is encouraging to see how many local groups have committed to making the place where they live cleaner, greener and more environmentally friendly.

“We work closely with Live Here Love Here and are delighted to see how many of our constituents have engaged with their programmes.

“Their work plays a significant part in helping us achieve our goal of improving our local environmental quality.

“Every improvement action that takes place in our local communities, however small, adds to the overall wellbeing of our district.”

(l-r) Councillor Gareth Sharvin, Deputy Chairperson, Newry Mourne and Down District Council with Lawrence Murphy of Saintfield Community Association Environment Team, who received the Council Champions Award. Included is Lynda Surgenor, Live Here Love Here Manager.

Live Here Love Here has been running for 10 years, and the awards this year detail again the campaign’s ongoing commitment to improving communities across Northern Ireland and empowering people to protect the environment.

Lynda Surgenor, Live Here Love Here Manager, said, “Our Community Awards are always a highlight. They recognise and honour the diverse environmental contributions made by community members across Northern Ireland.

“And also because it’s an opportunity for us to reflect on the success of the Live Here Love Here programme.

“This year’s instalment is made all the more special as we’re marking ten years of community support for the campaign.

“We extend our warmest congratulations to all the nominees and recipients – their remarkable achievements will inspire others to join the moment towards a cleaner, greener, and more connected Northern Ireland.

“We also extend our thanks to DAERA, Belfast Harbour, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and our nine council partners whose support has been instrumental in the positive momentum of Live Here Love Here.”

Some of Live Here Love Here’s initiative include Big Spring Clean and Adopt a Spot.

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