Spirit of NI awards launched

Published Tuesday, 11 February 2014
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The search is on to find and honour Northern Ireland's unsung heroes as this year's Specsavers Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards are launched.

Spirit of NI awards launched
Awards hosts Pamela Ballantine and Frank Mitchell talk to UTV about the awards. (© UTV)

Now in its fourth year, the organisers of are urging the public to put forward their suggestions of those who are out there making a difference.

Last year wee Oscar Knox was the star of the show, recognised for his brave battle against cancer, raising awareness and funds for the rare condition.

And this year someone just as special will be awarded for being an inspiration in the community.

Tony McGinn, Chairman Specsavers Northern Ireland, explained: "We are just looking for people out there, it could be somebody in the community, a youth leader someone in a church group, just people, your carer, people just out there just doing things that we all admire."

Martin Breen, Editor of the Sunday Life, added: "The real stars on the night will be those men, women and children who have been nominated for Spirit of Northern Ireland award for the great deeds they have done and I think again it will be a very uplifting night and we will hear some very inspirational stories hopefully from those people who are nominated."

The ceremony itself has all the glitz glamour and emotion of any gala event but the focus is on ordinary people doing extraordinary thing, as hosts Pamela Ballantine and Frank Mitchell know well.

"The people of Northern Ireland, they never cease to amaze me," Pamela said.

"The kindness that they have, quite literally the spirit that they have to go out and do things for others, not for themselves and I have to admit the pair of us both sitting with tissues, wiping our eyes in between the awards because it's just so heart-rending as well but uplifting too."

Frank added: "It's fabulous to be part of it and hopefully people will recommend those who are deserving and this year we can have an excellent celebration again come summertime."

You can nominate your chosen unsung hero by filling in the nomination form.

EXTERNAL LINKS / CONTACTS
The closing date for nominations is 22 April. The awards night is at the Culloden Hotel on 30 May when all winners will be announced.
© UTV News
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