The Ards has cleaned up at the annual Coca-Cola Coast Care awards — again!
For the second year in a row, both Cloughey and Millisle scooped awards for their outstanding efforts to care for their local beaches.
Jo Scott, the driving force behind the Millisle Youth Forum and also a committee member of the Millisle Community Association claimed ‘The Most Committed Volunteer of the Year’ title.
The judges singled Jo out for her tireless work to make Millisle a better place by organising clean ups and community events, as well as her enthusiasm and willingness to get her hands dirty and make events fun for young and old.
Jo said: “I am honoured to have been nominated and to have won the award, but I see it as recognition not for me as an individual, but for all those who are involved in making Millisle a better place to live and visit and a particular tribute to the Youth Forum whose commitment and enthusiasm is second to none”.
Meanwhile, Cloughey and District Community Association were named ‘Coastal Custodians of the Year’, a special award given to a group considered to have demonstrated exceptional commitment in developing a successful, active, responsible and proud community that is working towards social, economic and environmental excellence.
The Assocation was recognised for its high level of activity and its well organised and unwavering determination which has dramatically transformed the local beach and community.
The judges described the significant number of nominations which the group received as testament to the number of lives they are touching in a positive way.
Mayor of Ards, Councillor David Smyth, said the communities in both Millisle and Cloughey had been shining examples of what hard work and commitment from local people can achieve.
“And while the groups and individuals involved undoubtedly feel that the results and impact of their work are reward enough, they do deserve to be recognised for their determined efforts and their contributions to improving not only the environment, but the quality of life for their local communities.
“These awards are more than merited.’’
Joanne Palmer, Chair of the Cloughey and District Community Association, said: “Without the support of Ards Borough Council, local residents, schools and the wider community in the area, none of the successes we have achieved in Coastal Awards over the last three years would have been possible.”