The search is on for ‘unsung’ rural community heroes

Entries showcasing those making a grassroots difference in rural communities are sought before the September 30 competition deadline.

The Rural Awards give local communities and their groups a chance to showcase the range of activities they are involved in to keep their areas attractive and vibrant.

They also give the Housing Executive the opportunity to recognize outstanding volunteer work on the ground in neighborhoods and villages in rural Northern Ireland.

Searching for a Hero – Tim Gilpin (left), Rural and Regeneration Director, Housing Manager, kicks off the 2022 Rural Community Awards competition with judges Mark Alexander, Housing Manager, and Orla McCann, Supporting Communities. CREDIT:

First launched at the Balmoral Show in 2014, the competition has been a huge success – generating hundreds of inspiring entries.

Tim Gilpin, Campaign and Regeneration Director for the Housing Executive, said: “We want to celebrate the work of volunteers across Northern Ireland who are so often the ‘unsung heroes’ of our community.

“They routinely go above and beyond to promote health and well-being, individual and community development, social inclusion and to help improve the lives of all residents, which is to be commended.

“I’m really looking forward to hearing more inspiring stories about all the good work being done.”

Three rewards are offered:

– The Community Champion award is open to extraordinary rural nominees

community group they represent. The group will win £500 and there will be a prize for the individual.

– The Rural Community Spirit Award is open to all community groups based in rural areas who work

together to make their village or small settlement a better place to live. The winning group will be

– The Cleaner and Greener Rural Community Award recognizes and encourages these rural communities

who have come together to protect and enhance their built and natural environment and to promote

sustainable with their inhabitants. The winning group will receive £1,000.

There will be winners in the north and south regions of the Housing Executive.

To nominate your local unsung hero through the Rural Community Awards, visit and search for the Rural Community Awards.

Completed application forms should be returned to the Housing Executive by 4pm on Friday 30 September.

About Keneth T. Graves

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