Category Three – Population Category 1000 – 2000
Winner: Whiteabbey, Co Antrim

Summary:

Whiteabbey Community Group was established in the year 2000 and serves Whiteabbey village and surrounding districts in County Antrim, comprising 1,500 – 2,000 people. The group manages and operates from the local community centre which was opened in 2006 and extended in 2015 costing £100,000. The group currently has over 30 volunteers who assist in organising a range of activities in the centre including a women’s group, men’s shed, line dancing group, youth drama/music/dance, fibromyalgia and disability group, junior and senior youth clubs, an annual seasonal social events programme, educational classes and suicide, drugs & alcohol awareness sessions. The centre is also a hub for victims of domestic violence – Safe Place. The group also works in partnership with other local community organisations. Current plans include redeveloping the grounds around the centre through an environmental project consisting of raised beds for those with disabilities, allotments for the kids, a seating area, a play area and a BBQ facility.

Community Contact: Jonathan Henderson, jonathan.henderson@antrimandnewtownabbey.gov.uk

Citation:

There is so much to admire about the dedicated group that serves this community and so much to admire in the sheer range of activities organised by them in their impressive community centre – everything from line dancing to provision for victims of domestic violence. And then, of course, there are the volunteers (over 30 of them) underpinning it all. Importantly the judges had the opportunity to interact with the volunteers themselves and some service users and they can readily attest that a real difference is being made to the lives of so many individuals in the local community.

Runners Up: Boyle, Co Roscommon, and Knock, Co Mayo.