The winners of the first Belfast Telegraph Making the Difference Awards, in association with Spar, will be announced on March 9, 2011.
Hundreds of nominations from across Northern Ireland were submitted to 11 categories to find the individuals, projects and businesses that make a positive impact to the daily lives of people. The successful shortlist of inspirational nominees will be invited to be part of the audience at a glittering gala event in the Grand Opera House, Belfast, where the winners will be revealed.
Michelle Hatfield, Corporate responsibility director George Best Belfast City Airport, said:
"This is a unique awards ceremony, celebrating ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
"It is essential that the strength and spirit of the people within our communities is recognised, as so often we hear about amazing, heartwarming stories on our doorstep that go unreported.
"The airport’s Community Fund team meets with very special people every day who are really making a difference within the local community, and we are delighted that a ceremony such as this is now recognising these individuals.
"At Belfast City Airport, our aim is to embed corporate responsibility and the work we do within our local community, into mainstream business practice. We aim to position the company as a key contributor to local communities; and one of our key business objectives is to encourage our employees to participate in community-organised events.
"In 2010, the airport donated over £40,000 from our Community Fund to exceptionally admirable groups within our local community and we look forward to continuing this work in 2011.
"Operating close to our local community, we work hard to offer transparency and support to local community groups, projects and schools. For Belfast City Airport, being a good neighbour is at the heart of everything we do.”
Best Street: We want to find the street where there is an amazing sense of community pride, shown through activities which involve everyone in the area.
Best School: A school that has an ‘outreach’ project where pupils go into the community, raise money for local causes or have gone ‘green’ within the school.
Best Volunteer: Someone who has worked tirelessly in the voluntary sector for many years.
Best Neighbour: A person considered to be the ‘heart’ of the street. They look after their neighbours and are always there to help.
Best Enterprise: This business has helped improve the environment or ‘given back’ to the community through school programmes.
Best Art/Sport/Community Project: We are looking for a person who helps give groups fresh purpose.
Spirit of Youth: This is for a bright spark who has demonstrated great achievements at a young age. They have achieved academic, sporting or artistic heights.
Service with a Smile: This is the person who gives everything they have to their job and the people they help.
999 Hero: Someone who, through an act of bravery, has saved a life. They can be a member of the public or emergency services personnel.
Best Garden: This ‘oasis’ doesn't need to be set in acres. It could be the little urban garden that brightens up dull streets or a small back garden.
Carer in the Community:This person has dedicated time to looking after someone in their home.
Making The Difference Award: The overall honour awarded to an outstanding individual, organisation or project that has made a huge contribution to the community.