Space-NI, Co. Down

This community were delighted to be nominated by Newry Mourne and Down District Council in the Community Wellbeing category of Pride in Place last year.

“We were very unsure of the process and nervous about the adjudication. Summer is a very busy time for us at Space-NI as we run summer schemes for young and for the not so young, and it just so happened that the judging was scheduled during one of our busiest weeks with little time to prep or organise a presentation.

We needn’t have worried! The judges were very genuine, they mingled with all present, heard the beneficiary stories and set the scene for the presentation in an enabling supportive manner. Without encouragement, members of the audience stood and told of their experience as a direct beneficiary of Space-NI programmes and services. Leaving work that day each of our staff and volunteers who witnessed the testimonies, agreed that we had experienced something much more powerful than being considered for a prize, that day we witnessed how our beneficiaries had found the courage to tell their tale, and we as a staff team knew in our hearts that we had made a difference in our community. We went on to Cork, clear in the knowledge that our work was valued and respected.

We were proud to represent the community and voluntary sector projects within Newry Mourne and Down District Council. We were awarded the Cities Community Wellbeing award, we were blown away. We won an All-Ireland, it’s a long time since Down brought any All Irelands over the border, and our team were ecstatic. We can now claim to be an All-Ireland award-winning project, there’s definitely a bit of dining out on that accolade!

The Pride of Place awards are a wonderful way to press stop, think, reflect, winning was special, participating was cathartic and we loved the experience.”