Belfast siblings honoured for years of service to social enterprise
A visually impaired brother and sister have been recognised for almost 80 combined years of outstanding work for a company dedicated to helping people with disabilities.
Oliver and Bernadette Murphy were praised for their enormous contribution to Usel (Ulster Supported Employment Limited), a North Belfast-based social enterprise that creates sustainable jobs for people with health-related conditions.
The siblings from Bawnmore, Belfast, received their awards from Northern Ireland football manager Michael O'Neill at Titanic Belfast.
Guests included former Voice UK winner Andrea Begley, who has only 10% residual vision and who spoke about her own experiences and how the talents and skills of people with disabilities make a valuable contribution to all areas of life.
Bill Atkinson, CEO of Usel, paid tribute to Oliver, Bernadette and the other winners of the Champion Ability Awards. He also presented a special Championing Ability award to former chairman Jim Perry, who was awarded an MBE last year and has been instrumental in driving the Champion Ability ethos across Northern Ireland.
Oliver, who has never missed a day of work, has been at Usel for 40 years while Bernie has been there for 36 years. Usel production manager Andrew Willis said at one time five members of the family worked at Usel. "The Murphy family are real stalwarts of Usel. They are a nice, solid, down to earth family, who have coped incredibly well with hereditary visual problems."