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Nominations open for award scheme

Local people are being encouraged to nominate women of achievement, as nominations open for the 2010 award scheme.

Organised annually by Ards Borough Council, the ‘Women of Achievement’ awards are now in their fourth year and,for the first time, the presentation ceremony will take place on International Women’s Day (March 8, 2011).

Nominations can be made in four categories — women in the community, women of determination, inspirational women and young women achievers.

Past winners have included talented young athlete Ciara Mageean from Portaferry and Kathy Cash from Newtownards, founder of the Hope Support Group, which provides support for people surviving and living with cancer, and their families. Greyabbey woman, Roslyn Davidson, also received an award in 2009 in acknowledgement of her voluntary and charitable work, while artist Marilyn Standford, was recognised for using her creative talent in everything from primary education to environmental and cultural awareness.

“One thing our past winners demonstrate is that these awards are not about recognising so-called ‘high-fliers’ or people with very public profiles, but the normal women in our community who are doing great things, day in day out, without any thought of reward, but who nonetheless deserve their work and commitment to be acknowledged,” said Councillor Michelle McIlveen, who initiated the award scheme at Ards Borough Council and is also one of the Northern Ireland Local Government Association’s Women’s Champions.

“I would encourage anyone who knows a worthy nominee to send in a nomination form and stress that while there will be four overall award recipients, the attainments of everyone nominated will be recognised at an awards ceremony next March”.

The four award categories are: Women in the Community — Women who have made a significant contribution to their communities through charity or voluntary work.

Women of Determination — Women who have had to overcome significant adversity or challenge to make a difference or to succeed personally or professionally

Inspirational Women — Women whose behaviour, actions, words or achievements, have inspired others.

Young Women Achievers — For those aged between 16 and 25 (inclusive) who have already achieved a great deal, whether in their academic or working lives, in sport, in meeting personal challenges, in their contributions to their communities.

The closing date for nominations is 4pm on Friday, December 31. For further information and a nomination form contact David Anderson at Ards Borough Council, Tel: 9182 4069, E: david.anderson@ards-council.gov.uk

Belfast Telegraph