Searching For Down’s Unsung Heroes


The search is on for Down’s unsung heroes.

The 2019 Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards with Specsavers have been launched and judges are looking for who you think best captures the Spirit of Northern Ireland in 2019.

This annual awards ceremony, which will again be televised by UTV, seeks to honour all those who make a difference across Northern Ireland.

Hosts Pamela Ballantine and Marc Mallett launch the Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards 2019 with Sunday Life editor Martin Breen and Specsavers Northern Ireland Chairman, Sean McAuley.

Organisers are seeking your nominations for who you think deserves a Spirit of Northern Ireland Award, by selflessly serving others and being an inspiration to us all.

The unique Northern Ireland-wide search will give recognition to those whose good deeds have previously gone mostly unnoticed – ordinary people who are doing extraordinary things to help others and people whose uplifting stories of selfless acts will touch the hearts of all who read them.

Specsavers Northern Ireland Chairman, Sean McCauley, said: “Specsavers are thrilled to partner the fabulous Spirit of Northern Ireland awards programme which this year celebrates its 10thanniversary. 

“Year on year the awards throw a spotlight on so many brilliant people and how they individually have made such a huge difference to their local community, town or village and the people who live there. 

“Speaking on behalf of staff in our 22 Specsavers stores, we’d like to urge the public to put forward an inspirational unsung hero of any age, who they feel richly deserves this very special recognition.  We’re looking forward to a wonderful awards evening in June marking 10 years of these remarkable community awards.”

Judges are searching to honour winners across ten categories in total which are now open for nomination.  This year’s categories are: Unsung Hero, Overcoming Adversity, Spirit of Youth, 999 Hero, Charity Champion, Spirit of Health, Spirit of Education, Caring Spirit Award, Spirit of Sport and a Special Recognition Award.

Whether for demonstrating a spirit of compassion, neighbourliness, charity, enterprise, courage or devotion, all nominations are welcome. All those who submit nominations will automatically be entered into a prize draw to win a £129 eyecare voucher and a VIP experience at the awards, including an overnight stay at the event Hotel, courtesy of Specsavers.

The grand final for the Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards with Specsavers will take place on Wednesday, June 5th at the fabulous Titanic Centre in Belfast.

Hosting the Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards with Specsavers this year again will be UTV’s Marc Mallett and Pamela Ballantine, and just like previous years, the audience will be filled with many local celebrities supporting the event and eager to hear the finalists’ incredible stories.

Soap and drama fans had their pick of household names at last year’s event from the likes of Emmerdale, Coronation Street, Holby City, Game of Thrones and The Fall.

To make a nomination, visit: and explain in 50-100 words why you think this person is worthy of a Spirit of Northern Ireland Award.

The closing date for nominations is Thursday, 25th April 2019EMedia contact:  Alana Hughes, JComms – Tel:  028 9521 8387.  Mob:  07889 574567.  Email:


Unsung Hero: Someone whose great deed or deeds have previously gone unnoticed, but who will have made a major contribution to your life or to your community.

Overcoming Adversity: Someone who has overcome huge personal challenges, whether it is dealing with illness or disability or overcoming problems.

Spirit of Youth: Someone under the age of 18 who should be recognised for their special achievements.

999 Hero: A member of the emergency services who has gone above and beyond the call of duty in their job.

Charity Champion: Someone who has worked tirelessly for a charity or as a fundraiser for many years.

Spirit of Health: A medical professional who has gone the extra mile to improve the health and wellbeing of a patient.

Spirit of Education: This award recognises a truly inspirational teacher who has helped children and young people to fulfil their potential.

Caring Spirit Award: A person, young or old, who has dedicated their time to caring for a friend or family member.

Spirit of Sport: Someone who has made an exceptional contribution to local sport over a number of years. 

Special Recognition Award: Someone who the judges feel best represents the Spirit of Northern Ireland by selflessly serving others and being an inspiration to us all.