Belfast Telegraph

Celebrating champions: CO3 leadership Awards at Stormont

Voluntary, community and social enterprise chiefs were honoured last week at an awards ceremony at Stormont Buildings in Belfast.

More than 200 people from third sector organisations across Northern Ireland gathered in the Great Hall for this year’s CO3 leadership awards - Celebrating Champions 2016.

The CO3 leadership awards, now in their fourth year and sponsored by Ecclesiastical Insurance, recognise those third sector leaders who have made a huge difference to their local communities.

Among the seven awards winners were EJ Havlin from Age NI, who picked up Social Impact Champion, Billy Webb of NI Hospice, who won Third Sector Trustee of the Year and Geri Hanna, Victim Support NI, who won Best Newcomer of the Year.

The Entrepreneurial Leader of the Year gong went to Roseann Kelly from Women in Business, while Age NI’s Linda Robinson scooped the Leading People award. Anne-Marie McClure of Start360 was named Inspiring Leader of the Year and the Lifetime Commitment to the Third Sector was awarded jointly to Arlene Cassidy, Autism NI and Pip Jaffa, Parenting NI.

Praising all seven winners, Nora Smith, Chief Executive of CO3, said third sector leaders were ‘champions’ when it came to providing vital services for communities in rural and urban areas and for providing an important voice for those most in need.

“It is only right that third sector leaders should be recognised for the hard work that they do, helping thousands of vulnerable people across Northern Ireland. Our seven winners have gone above and beyond the call of duty and we are delighted to be able to celebrate our champions tonight,” she said.

Roseann Kelly, who won the Entrepreneurial category, said she was ‘honoured’ to have picked up the award.

She said: "Third sector organisations do such amazing work across Northern Ireland and I’m proud to have been recognised in this way. It’s testament to the sterling work which we all do to make a difference to the lives of others.”   

This year, for the first time, the winners also received a series of prize funds.  Included in the prize fund offerings were a £2,500 cash prize, £2,500 voucher from Ulster University and a wide range of business consultancy support services.  

David Lane, managing director of Ecclesiastical Insurance Ireland said: “We are delighted to support the CO3 Leadership Awards 2016. Ecclesiastical is owned by a charity and our profits go towards helping deserving causes and community projects. We believe it is incredibly important to recognize and award deserving individuals and leaders in the third sector. I congratulate each of the nominees and wish those attending the awards an enjoyable evening.”

Other winners who picked up highly commended awards on the night included Aoife Watters and David Carroll from Depaul, ColmMcDaid, Supporting Communities, Jacqueline Williamson, Kinship Care NI, Gareth Kirk, Action Cancer and Vivian McConvey, VOYPIC.

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