Efforts of community worker recognised with prestigious award

February 11, 2013

The dedicated and industrious efforts of a local community worker were officially acknowledged at a ceremony in the Sean Hollywood Arts Centre, Newry on Wednesday.

Mrs Theresa Campbell from Creggan received a Newry and Mourne District Council Civic Pride Award from Mayor John McArdle in recognition of her outstanding voluntary contribution to her local community.

Theresa is the chairperson of Creggan Community Association and, as such, heads up a team of hard-working and enthusiastic residents, all keen to bring out the best of their locality.

Over the last fifteen or more years, Theresa has been to the fore-front of improving the Creggan area; from hands-on tasks such as weeding and cleaning up litter, to filling in endless forms and pursuing funding to carry out improvements.  Indeed the village has changed dramatically in those ensuing years, with well-groomed flower beds and floral displays welcoming residents and visitors alike.

Such achievement is the result of long hours organising and toiling, tasks in which Theresa and her team have excelled for the betterment of their community.  Theresa Campbell is a shining example of community work at its best and is a well-deserved recipient of such a prestigious award.

Accepting her award at the presentation ceremony, Theresa said she was proud that the work of the Creggan Community Association has been thus rewarded and she paid tribute to the hard-working committee.

“I am extremely surprised and honoured to receive this award,” she said.  “I wish to thank Newry and Mourne District Council and Councillor Terry Hearty, who nominated me.  I also take this opportunity to acknowledge the dedication of the Creggan Community Association committee and the residents of Creggan who share this honour with me.”

Dozens of well-wishers have contacted Theresa to offer their congratulations on her achievement.

Sinn Fein Councillor Terry Hearty, whose nomination of Theresa led to the award, offered his congratulations: “Teresa is Chair of the group since it was established over fifteen years ago, she is a hands-on person in the Creggan area, regularly seen working in the garden weeding and throughout the village litter picking.

“Teresa is not afraid to get her hands dirty; she leads by example and has a good hard working committee. People on committees know the unseen work on-going behind the scenes, such as the paper work associated with funding, insurance and working with the statutory agencies. This work often has to be carried out late in the evenings and often goes unnoticed.”

Reflecting on the improvements to the area over that time, he added: “I often say to people from the area, ‘remember Creggan fifteen or twenty years ago and look at it today’. Creggan regularly sees busloads of tourists to the very historic Creggan graveyard and to the Poet’s Glen. What they see in Creggan is their impression of the Newry and Mourne area. If the voluntary hours associated with all the work that took place in Creggan over the years was added up in monetary terms, it would cost Council hundreds of thousands of pounds.

“Once again I would like to say congratulations to Teresa and the members of the Creggan Community Association on this well-deserved award.”