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A COMMUNITY group in Clady is celebrating after scooping a top award at the Housing Executive's Rural Community Awards. 

Thursday, 17 November 2016

A COMMUNITY group in Clady is celebrating after scooping a top award at the Housing Executive's Rural Community Awards.  thumbnailPaul Givan, congratulates Clady Cross Community Development Association representatives, Marcus O'Neill and Barry Lafferty, on the group winning the 'Cleaner and Green (Small Village)' award at the Housing Executive’s Rural Community Awards.

A COMMUNITY group in Clady is celebrating after scooping a top award at the Housing Executive's Rural Community Awards. 

Clady Cross Community Development Association was one of four rural communities who each won £1,000 in the competition.

 The awards aim to reward rural communities working to foster a vibrant community in their areas and competition entries highlighted the tremendous work being carried out in rural communities across Northern Ireland.

The border village has been transformed in recent years thanks to a dedicated team of volunteers.

That hard work has not gone unnoticed and representatives from the community group were delighted to travel to the glitzy awards ceremony held in the Tullylagan House Hotel in Cookstown last week to pick up their richly-deserved 'Cleaner and Greener Award' (Small Village).

Speaking this week, Barry Lafferty of Clady Cross Community Development Association said the award is a testament to the hard work of the village's volunteers.

He said: "We are delighted to win the Cleaner and Greener Small Village Award at this year's Housing Executive Rural Awards.

"Clady Community Development Association plays an important role in the local area in helping Clady become a great place to live and visit.

"This award is for our volunteers and I would like to thank the Housing Executive for highlighting the excellent work by local community associations through the Cleaner and Greener Small Village Award."

The Housing Executive said it was delighted with the interest shown in what was the third year of the Rural Community Awards. 

The awards illustrated the high level of community activity by those who are making a contribution to improving, not just the environment, but also the community spirit within rural areas.

Presenting the winners with their cheques, the Minister for Communities, Paul Givan, said: "Local group activities, social events and support services can be a lifeline for isolated and dispersed communities, who often do not enjoy the same access to services and facilities as our towns and cities. 

"For the most part this work is carried out by local volunteers who give up evenings and weekends to make things happen.

"Today is about celebrating these community champions and volunteers, showcasing the projects they have undertaken, the people they have reached out to and recognising the difference they have made within their rural communities."   

 Siobhan McCauley, Housing Executive director of Regional Services, also commented: "At the Housing Executive we recognise the importance of our Rural Community with a dedicated unit. We have been working hard to help build strong vibrant communities across all rural communities in Northern Ireland and entries to our competition have highlighted, once again, the tremendous work being carried out. 

"Working with rural communities is essential for effective rural development. The Housing Executive Rural Community Awards are an excellent example of positive engagement in recognising the best of the rural community.

"I would like to pay tribute to all those who are actively engaged in their communities, making their contribution to improving not just the environment but also the community spirit within their rural neighbourhood."

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