Pride of Place Awards | T:BUC

Pride of Place nominees at the Award ceremony | NICRC

A specially written article by Julie McCormack, DCGRP manager, TEO.

As Manager of the District Council Good Relations Programme (DCGRP), it was my privilege to be invited by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Council (ABC) to the Pride of Place Awards 2023, held in Armagh City Hotel. These awards were partly funded from the 23/24 DCGRP awarded to ABC Council.

The DCGRP is a match funded good relations funding Programme delivered as part of the wider Together: Building a United Community (T:BUC) Strategy. The key aims of the Programme are to improve relations between and within District Council areas and to support local solutions to local good relations issues.

The IPB Pride of Place Awards, in association with Co-Operation Ireland, is a competition that acknowledges the efforts and endeavours of communities to improve the areas in which they live. The competition is in its 21st year, and open to community groups through a range of categories. The common thread to applications is the impact and difference made in people’s lives. 

Thirty-four Councils participated in the Awards, including seven local Councils. Three Groups were nominated from ABC Council:

  • YMCA (based in Portadown) deliver an extensive programme of activities to a membership of over 275 children and young people on a weekly basis.
  • Lislea Community Association was established in 1979 and the range of weekly activities include Green woodworking, art classes and sewing classes. They came runner up in the category of Creative Place Initiative. 
  • Maidens of Macha is the first Ladies' Social Netball Club in Armagh City. Established in March 2022, the club was created to re-birth netball in the city with a focus on bringing women together. They were awarded a special prize on the night by the judges who praised them for their inclusivity.

Over 500 representatives from community groups, Local Authorities and Civic Representatives attended the Armagh City Hotel for the Awards Ceremony which was hosted by Pamela Ballantine.

It was a fantastic evening and great opportunity to give recognition to the community groups working hard to bring people together and create a sense of pride in their neighbourhood. It highlighted the positive difference these projects make to those who participate.