The winners of the first Belfast Telegraph Making the Difference Awards, in association with Spar, will be announced on March 9, 2011.
Peter Henry, general manager of Allied Bakeries Ireland (ABI) said:
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.
We rarely get the chance to recognise the extraordinary deeds of individuals in our local communities. The Belfast Telegraph Making the Difference Awards provide a forum to celebrate the achievements of these individuals and really champion community spirit.
We employ 400 people at the bakery, all from diverse backgrounds — it is important to foster this community spirit.
Corporate responsibility increasingly informs the way Allied Bakeries does business, from the way we manage our environmental impact to our ethical trading policies to our community engagement activities. Be it sponsoring local sports initiatives, raising funds for local charities or talking to schools about careers or nutrition, we want to be proud of the way we do business.
Schools are at the very heart of every community. Supporting being a good neighbour and charity, enterprise and courage at this stage sets the tone for our communities of tomorrow. Kingsmill is committed to delivering a better future — we are the first bread brand to carry the Carbon Trust's carbon reduction label, committing us to a carbon footprint improvement every year.
We believe that every little effort today will have a big pay-off in the future and there is no better place to build this message than within local schools.
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.