Search on for Spirit of NI Awards nominees

Specsavers representatives Tony McGinn (left) and Stuart Brown (right) with Spirit of NI presenter Pamela Ballantine and judge Eamon Holmes.
Specsavers representatives Tony McGinn (left) and Stuart Brown (right) with Spirit of NI presenter Pamela Ballantine and judge Eamon Holmes.
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The search is on for Coleraine’s unsung heroes.

The 2018 Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards with Specsavers have just been launched and judges are looking for who you think best captures the Spirit of Northern Ireland in 2018.

This annual awards ceremony, which will again be televised by UTV, seeks to honour all those who make a difference across Northern Ireland.

Last year’s overall Spirit of Northern Ireland winner was Portrush man Willie Gregg, who has raised more than £250k to help children orphaned in the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami in the Indian Ocean.

This year organisers want your nominations for who you think deserves a Spirit of Northern Ireland Award, by selflessly serving others and being an inspiration to us all. The unique Northern Ireland-wide search will give recognition to those whose good deeds have previously gone mostly unnoticed - ordinary people who are doing extraordinary things to help others and people whose uplifting stories of selfless acts will touch the hearts of all who read them.

Specsavers Northern Ireland Chairman, Sean McCauley, said, “We are delighted to sponsor the amazing Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards for the eighth consecutive year. I know I speak for all of the Specsavers staff across the province that each year we are humbled and inspired by the stories that are received and I’m sure this year will be no different. These awards celebrate all that is good about Northern Ireland and gives us the opportunity to

champion incredible individuals who are so often modest and quiet about the huge difference they make to other peoples’ lives. Help us to recognise our local unsung heroes by sharing their stories before the closing date in March.”

Judges are searching to honour winners across ten categories in total which are now open for nomination. This year’s categories are: Unsung Hero, Overcoming Adversity, Spirit of Youth, 999 Hero, Charity Champion, Spirit of Health, Spirit of Education, Caring Spirit Award, Spirit of Sport and a Special Recognition Award.

Whether for demonstrating a spirit of compassion, neighbourliness, charity, enterprise, courage or devotion, all nominations are welcome. All those who submit nominations will automatically be entered into a prize draw to win a £150 eyecare voucher and a VIP experience at the awards, including an overnight stay at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, courtesy of Specsavers.

The grand final for the Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards with Specsavers will take place on Friday, April 20 at the luxurious Crowne Plaza Hotel in Belfast.

Hosting the Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards with Specsavers this year again will be UTV’s Marc Mallett and Pamela Ballantine, and just like previous years, the audience will be filled with many local celebrities supporting the event and eager to hear the finalists’ incredible stories.

To make a nomination, simply explain in 50-100 words why this person is worthy of a Spirit of Northern Ireland Award and email to spiritofniawards@sundaylife.co.uk or fill in a form available at a local Specsavers store.

The closing date for nominations is Fridayk, March 16.