Cities Section: Category Three – Urban Neighbourhoods / Villages with a population over 2000
Winner: Belvoir Estate, South Belfast

Summary:

Belvoir Area Residents Group was formed in 2013 when residents addressed the need for a group to represent the whole community. They started as a group who would lobby statutory bodies on behalf of residents on issues such as housing and street cleansing. The group has worked with elected representatives to get a zebra crossing at the local primary school. Over time the group has expanded to provide free events for all sections of the community in Belvoir and Milltown estates in South Belfast. To date they have organised events for all ages including discos for kids, summer family fun days, free back-to-work training, tea dances for pensioners, community allotments, multi-agency community engagement events and afterschool clubs. In December they held Belvoir’s first ever Christmas tree lighting event, with a sustainable tree for future generations to enjoy. Moving forward they are starting a men’s shed to help tackle the growing problem of mental health issues in men.

Community Contact: Tracy Mawhinney, mawhinneyt@belfastcity.gov.uk

Citation:

This area and the local volunteers left a huge impression on the judges after they outlined the story of their decision to do things for themselves with supporting agencies to enhance and improve the quality of the lives of the people living in their area. It was a wonderful story of six years of endeavour, enthusiasm, highs/lows, resilience, initiative and finally success from an amazing group of people, who told their story in an excellent presentation and powerful testimonials. The judges enjoyed their visit and were very impressed.

Runner up: Edenmore, Raheny, Dublin City