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Northern Ireland’s modern day miracle workers to be crowned

Northern Ireland’s modern day miracle workers to be crowned

Awards announced to celebrate charity leaders transforming lives during the toughest of times

Northern Ireland’s charities are currently battling through their toughest time in living memory, according to Nora Smith, chief executive of CO3 which represents Third Sector leaders.

She was speaking at the launch of CO3 annual awards which celebrates extraordinary achievement by leaders of charities. Award winners will gain a place on a three-day leadership development programme in Sweden, where they can learn from and share with their Swedish peers. 

Ms Smith said: “This has been an extremely testing year for charities. We’re really feeling the lack of government, the uncertainty that Brexit brings, and significantly increasing workloads as funding cuts bite hard. Everyone is feeling it but we’re being squeezed two ways – by increasing demand on our services and less money to provide them. ”

“Sadly some member organisations have had to close their doors, others are clinging on by their finger tips. In this context the achievements that have been made are even more remarkable.”

“Our work has never been more important either: our members help vulnerable people, they save lives, they give hope and they work tirelessly for the public good.”

Yet she says that amidst all the gloom, charities are showing remarkable resilience in difficult times, learning from each other and from colleagues all over the world. “Celebrating the success of our best leaders and being inspired by them has never been so important. They are modern day miracle workers,”  she said.

David Lane, Managing Director of awards-sponsors Ecclesiastical Insurance said:

“As a specialist insurer working in the Third Sector, we see the resilience of the leaders and people working within it on a daily basis.  These awards enable us to recognise and celebrate the capability of the third sector to take on tough challenges and deliver amazing results. We are very proud to support this celebration of the outstanding work carried out by extraordinary people in the Third Sector. There are so many strong, innovative leaders who are managing to provide invaluable support to the vulnerable at a very difficult time. It is inspiring and moving.”

The awards ceremony will take place on March 7 next year at the La Mon House Hotel in Belfast. It will be preceded by CO3’s annual conference which will be on the theme: “How do you make the world a better place?”

Award winners will gain a place on a three-day leadership development programme in Sweden, where they can learn from and share with their Swedish peers. 

Nominations are now open and can be accessed via www.co3.bz