THREE community groups from County Antrim have picked up three out of the six prizes at the Housing Executive’s Rural Community Awards.
Carnlough Community Association won the Community Spirit Award of the Year in the large village category.
Cloughmills were chosen as the winner of the Cleaner & Greener Award in the small village category, while Rathlin picked up the Community Spirit Award for a small village.
All groups won a £1,000 prize which they were presented with by the Housing Executive’s Director of Regional Services, Siobhan McCauley, at the ceremony which took place in the Millennium Centre in Loughgiel.
The Housing Executive was very impressed by how each community group worked together to regenerate their villages and bring residents together to improve each rural area.
Speaking on behalf of Carnlough Community Association, Secretary Mary Watson, said: “It’s absolutely wonderful to win this award and get a little bit of recognition for what we have done as a community.
“We’ll have great fun working out what we’re going to spend the money on.”
Patrick Frew, Chairperson of Cloughmills Community Action Team, added: “Winning this award is recognition for the work we do.
“An award like this shows that your peers are recognising the good work that you are doing, so it really is a pat on the back for us all.”
Marina McMullan from Rathlin Development and Community Association, said: “We have a great community spirit in Rathlin. We’re only a small community but we look after each other.
“Winning this award shows that all the work we’ve done in the community has paid off.”
Sinead Collins, the Housing Executive’s Rural and Regeneration Manager, added: “Our rural community groups are constantly fundraising, organising events and working hard to make life better for people in their communities.
“This is usually done on a voluntary basis and so we want to celebrate this .Our Rural Community Awards are our way of showing that we appreciate the incredible work that they do.”