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Sion Mills wins ‘Rural Community Spirit’ accolade.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

SION Mills has won the 'Rural Community Spirit' award in the large village category at this year's Housing Executive's Rural Community Awards.

Celebrating its fourth year, the awards ceremony took place at Killymoon in Cookstown on Wednesday, November 29.

Andrew Patton, vice-chairperson of Sion Mills Community Forum said villagers are delighted to have scooped the accolade.

"This is a collective success for everyone in Sion Mills and all residents should be pleased with this award. A lot of hard work was undertaken by Sion Mills Community Forum to secure this award, so this is for everyone in Sion Mills.

"The Housing Executive continues to place a strong emphasis on engaging with the rural community through these awards, and we would encourage local community associations to participate in next year's awards," he said.

As well as the 'Community Spirit' and 'Cleaner and Greener' awards, this was the inaugural year of the Sustainable Village award.

The new award will be the overall winner of the two existing categories and aims to celebrate the vital contributions of villages that encourage environmental, social and economic sustainability.

The Rural Community Awards aim to acknowledge 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.

Each winner received £1,000 to use to support and extend activities/projects which benefit their community as well as a plaque to display in their village.

Within each category there were two prizes, one for villages with a population of less than 1,000 and one for populations 1,000-5,000.

Siobhan McCauley, the Housing Executive's director of Regional Services said: "I would like to congratulate all of this year's winners across the three categories, especially our first two recipients of the first ever Sustainable Village award.

"The Housing Executive has a dedicated unit specifically engaging with the rural community, to address issues and concerns for effective rural development. The strong working relationship between ourselves and villages across Northern Ireland is extremely healthy and continues to grow.

"The Rural Community Awards are a positive example of the Housing Executive fostering vibrant communities in acknowledging the vital contribution made by the rural community in improving the lives of residents."

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