Rosaleen Bradley from Newington Credit Union, last year’s winners of the overall Social Enterprise Award in Northern Ireland and UK, said winning the awards has opened new doors for them and provided many more benefits than expected ….
“Going home with the Social Enterprise of the Year award was a fantastic feeling for the team. It was both an honour and a humbling experience. To be the first credit union to win the award as well as the first organisation from Northern Ireland added to the occasion.
"News of our award win travelled and provided us with opportunities for networking and influencing… the outgoing Right Honourable the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Pat Convery, hosted a lunch to celebrate our win and Enterprise Minister, Arlene Foster also welcomed our treasurer Denis Loughran in Stormont. And we were invited by the Department of Social Development and the Department for Trade and Industry to talk to groups embarking on social economy enterprises. These occasions gave us the opportunity to highlight the work of credit unions.
"The award brought unprecedented recognition to the hard work of our staff and volunteers and the role they play in supporting local families and people who need support to meet their financial commitments. Winning the award really gave the whole team a boost. We’ve been given the confidence to embark on new activities and to reach out to new people. We’ve recently embarked on an information and recruitment campaign with outreach through local press as well as special open days.
"Getting the award has put not just Newington Credit Union, but our entire movement, on the map.”
The Application form for all categories and details of full criteria can be downloaded from http://www.communityni.org/event/social-enterprise-awards-northern-ireland-2012
Winners will be presented with their awards at a gala dinner at Belfast Castle on 11 October 2012. Tickets are now available for this event.
If you would like to purchase tickets for the gala dinner or have any questions or queries about the Awards, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone Sector Matters on 028 9087 5018.