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Eastside Awards: Cream of east Belfast recognised at special awards

Host Tara Mills, principal sponsor Michelle Hatfield of George Best Belfast City Airport (right) and Jonathan McAlpin, chairman of the Awards Committee and Chief Executive of East Belfast Enterprise, at the second annual Eastside Awards
Host Tara Mills, principal sponsor Michelle Hatfield of George Best Belfast City Airport (right) and Jonathan McAlpin, chairman of the Awards Committee and Chief Executive of East Belfast Enterprise, at the second annual Eastside Awards
Justin McMinn of Street Soccer NI receives Eastside Award for Individual Contribution to Sport from Johnny Berry of sponsor Wolseley and awards host Tara Mills. www.eastsideawards.org
Julie Crozier of Wood Floor Warehouse receives Eastside Award for Independent Retailer from Cllr Mairead O’Donnell of sponsor Belfast City Council and awards host Tara Mills. www.eastsideawards.org
Jacqueline O’Hagan of EastSide Arts receives Eastside Award for Contribution to the Arts from Stephen Kane of sponsor Solv Group and awards host Tara Mills. www.eastsideawards.org
Joint Eastside Awards Educator of the Year winners Alison Mungavin and Tracy Rossborough of Ashfield Girls High School receive their awards from Claire Lenaghan of sponsor Millar McCall Wylie Solicitors and awards host Tara Mills. www.eastsideawards.org
Roberta Richmond, Chief Executive Officer of East Belfast Community Counselling Centre, receives Eastside Award for Contribution from a Community Project from Jenni Barkley of sponsor Belfast Harbour and awards host Tara Mills. www.eastsideawards.org
Robyn McWhirter of Sweet Robyn’s receives Eastside Award for Business Start Up from Jonathan McAlpin, Chief Executive of sponsor East Belfast Enterprise and The Foundry, and awards host Tara Mills. www.eastsideawards.org
Stephen Parr of Parr Group receives Eastside Award for Employer of the Year from Damian Campbell of sponsor Fleet Financial and awards host Tara Mills. www.eastsideawards.org
Rebecca McKersie of Ashfield Girls’ High School receives Eastside Award for Young Person of the Year from Kirsty Finney of sponsor Rodgers and Finney and awards host Tara Mills. www.eastsideawards.org
Julie Crozier of Wood Floor Warehouse receives Eastside Award for Business Growth in SME Sector from Keith Thompson of sponsor Ulster Bank and awards host Tara Mills. www.eastsideawards.org
Eastside Awards host, BBC television presenter, Tara Mills and Michelle Hatfield of Principal Sponsor George Best Belfast City Airport congratulate the winners of the second annual Eastside Awards at Hastings Stormont Hotel. www.eastsideawards.org
Michael Close of Ledley Hall Boys and Girls Club receives Eastside Award for Volunteer of the Year from Jennifer Hanna of sponsor Bravehearts NI and awards host Tara Mills. www.eastsideawards.org
Billy Murray receives Eastside Award for Outstanding Contribution to East Belfast from Michelle Hatfield of Principal Sponsor George Best Belfast City Airport and awards host Tara Mills. www.eastsideawards.org
Chris Armstrong of EastSide Visitor Centre receives Eastside Award for Tourism from Maeve Moreland of sponsors Titanic Foundation and Titanic Quarter and awards host Tara Mills. www.eastsideawards.org

By Staff Reporter

More than 200 people gathered last night to toast the achievements of people and companies in east Belfast.

BBC presenter Tara Mills hosted the second annual Eastside Awards, which are run in association with George Best Belfast City Airport.

Guests at the Stormont Hotel were entertained by musicians from Grosvenor Grammar School and treated to a performance by joint chamber choirs from Ashfield Girls High School and Dominican College.

The top accolade for Outstanding Contribution was awarded to former world champion kickboxer Billy Murray.

Judges said: “He stepped into a boxing club with the sole aim of being able to defend himself from others in the school yard. The sport captured his imagination and he was the first Irish man ever to win four world kickboxing titles at four different weights. He now runs Prokick Gym in the heart of East Belfast where his teaching and coaching instils truth, discipline and respect – traits which perfectly sum Billy up.”

The other winners were:

  • Eastside Award for Tourism sponsored by Titanic Foundation and Titanic Quarter: EastSide Visitor Centre
  • Eastside Award for Foodie Destination sponsored by The Foundry: The Lamppost Café
  • Eastside Award for Independent Retailer sponsored by Belfast City Council: Wood Floor Warehouse
  • Eastside Award for Individual Contribution to Sport sponsored by Wolesley: Justin McMinn, Street Soccer NI
  • Eastside Award for Contribution to the Arts sponsored by Solv Group: EastSide Arts
  • Eastside Award for Educator of the Year sponsored by Millar McCall Wylie: Alison Mungavin, Ashfield Girls High School and Tracy Rossborough, Ashfield Girls High School
  • Eastside Award for Contribution from a Community Project sponsored by Belfast Harbour: East Belfast Community Counselling Centre
  • Eastside Award for Business Growth SME sector sponsored by Ulster Bank: Wood Floor Warehouse
  • Eastside Award for Business Start Up sponsored by East Belfast Enterprise: Sweet Robyn’s Ltd
  • Eastside Award for Business Contribution to the Community sponsored by Phoenix Natural Gas: Little Wing Pizzeria
  • Eastside Award for Employer of the Year sponsored by Fleet Financial: Parr Group
  • Eastside Award for Young Person of the Year sponsored by Rodgers and Finney: Rebecca McKersie, Ashfield Girls High School
  • Eastside Award for Volunteer of the Year sponsored by Bravehearts NI: Michael Close, Ledley Hall Boys and Girls Club

Michelle Hatfield, Director of Human Resources and Corporate Responsibility at George Best Belfast City Airport, principal sponsor said: “Belfast City Airport is proud to once again support the Eastside Awards as principal sponsor and would like to warmly congratulate all the winners and shortlisted organisations.

“Positively contributing to our local community is integral to Belfast City Airport’s business ethos.  Through our Corporate Responsibility strategy, delivered primarily through our Community Fund, we provide support for a wide range of local schools, charities and other organisations.  Having donated £350,000 to over 120 projects, we are very aware of the positive impact that businesses working closely with the community can have.

“All of the nominees highlighted have contributed positively to the social, economic and community development of East Belfast, and we are delighted to acknowledge them.”

Sponsor Geri Wright, Communications Manager, Phoenix Natural Gas Ltd, said: “Phoenix Natural Gas is delighted to sponsor the Eastside Awards to recognise and reward talent within the East Belfast community in which we are based. The success of the awards last year is testament to the talent of the local community and the contributions made through business, voluntary and community work. We are delighted to once again support these awards which showcase the best of the East as a hub for creativity, culture and innovation and we congratulate all the worthy winners and finalists.”

Justin McMinn of Street Soccer NI receives Eastside Award for Individual Contribution to Sport from Johnny Berry of sponsor Wolseley and awards host Tara Mills. www.eastsideawards.org
Justin McMinn of Street Soccer NI receives Eastside Award for Individual Contribution to Sport from Johnny Berry of sponsor Wolseley and awards host Tara Mills. www.eastsideawards.org
Julie Crozier of Wood Floor Warehouse receives Eastside Award for Independent Retailer from Cllr Mairead O’Donnell of sponsor Belfast City Council and awards host Tara Mills. www.eastsideawards.org
Jacqueline O’Hagan of EastSide Arts receives Eastside Award for Contribution to the Arts from Stephen Kane of sponsor Solv Group and awards host Tara Mills. www.eastsideawards.org
Joint Eastside Awards Educator of the Year winners Alison Mungavin and Tracy Rossborough of Ashfield Girls High School receive their awards from Claire Lenaghan of sponsor Millar McCall Wylie Solicitors and awards host Tara Mills. www.eastsideawards.org
Roberta Richmond, Chief Executive Officer of East Belfast Community Counselling Centre, receives Eastside Award for Contribution from a Community Project from Jenni Barkley of sponsor Belfast Harbour and awards host Tara Mills. www.eastsideawards.org
Robyn McWhirter of Sweet Robyn’s receives Eastside Award for Business Start Up from Jonathan McAlpin, Chief Executive of sponsor East Belfast Enterprise and The Foundry, and awards host Tara Mills. www.eastsideawards.org
Stephen Parr of Parr Group receives Eastside Award for Employer of the Year from Damian Campbell of sponsor Fleet Financial and awards host Tara Mills. www.eastsideawards.org
Rebecca McKersie of Ashfield Girls’ High School receives Eastside Award for Young Person of the Year from Kirsty Finney of sponsor Rodgers and Finney and awards host Tara Mills. www.eastsideawards.org
Julie Crozier of Wood Floor Warehouse receives Eastside Award for Business Growth in SME Sector from Keith Thompson of sponsor Ulster Bank and awards host Tara Mills. www.eastsideawards.org
Eastside Awards host, BBC television presenter, Tara Mills and Michelle Hatfield of Principal Sponsor George Best Belfast City Airport congratulate the winners of the second annual Eastside Awards at Hastings Stormont Hotel. www.eastsideawards.org
Michael Close of Ledley Hall Boys and Girls Club receives Eastside Award for Volunteer of the Year from Jennifer Hanna of sponsor Bravehearts NI and awards host Tara Mills. www.eastsideawards.org
Billy Murray receives Eastside Award for Outstanding Contribution to East Belfast from Michelle Hatfield of Principal Sponsor George Best Belfast City Airport and awards host Tara Mills. www.eastsideawards.org
Chris Armstrong of EastSide Visitor Centre receives Eastside Award for Tourism from Maeve Moreland of sponsors Titanic Foundation and Titanic Quarter and awards host Tara Mills. www.eastsideawards.org

Jonathan McAlpin, Chief Executive of East Belfast Enterprise and Chair of Eastside Awards Committee, said: “I’m honoured that the judges of the second Eastside Awards have recognised a truly amazing and diverse range of winners.  These awards are a fitting way to celebrate all that is great about East Belfast and in this second year, the awards have again proven to be a magnificent success.”

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