Best Kept Awards call for Olympic effort

Pictured at the launch of the 2012 SuperValu Best Kept Awards are, left to right, SuperValu Marketing Manager Briege McGinty, Joan Burton, NI Amenity Council, Councillor John Mann, Newtownabbey Borough Council and Margaret Lindsay, Newtownabbey Borough Council.  Pic by Brian Thompson/Press Eye.

Pictured at the launch of the 2012 SuperValu Best Kept Awards are, left to right, SuperValu Marketing Manager Briege McGinty, Joan Burton, NI Amenity Council, Councillor John Mann, Newtownabbey Borough Council and Margaret Lindsay, Newtownabbey Borough Council. Pic by Brian Thompson/Press Eye.

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The organisers of a prestigious environmental awards scheme that rewards the work of hundreds of towns, housing areas, healthcare facilities and schools each year, are urging communities in the Newtownabbey area to make an Olympic effort in 2012.

The SuperValu Best Kept Awards were launched recently with a call for new volunteers to take part in the scheme and for communities to pull together to make the most of their local environment during the year of the London Olympics.

The awards are organised annually by the Northern Ireland Amenity Council (NIAC) and sponsored by retail group SuperValu and its independent retail partners across Northern Ireland. Last year Rathcoole in Newtownabbey won the Best Kept Large Housing Area Award.

Doreen Muskett MBE, Chairman of NIAC, said they’d like to see an even bigger push than normal to make improvements to the natural and built environment this year.

“For more than 50 years the Best Kept Awards have encouraged local communities to make the most of their outdoor spaces and to preserve our natural environment. Our work continues today and as the Olympics is all about excellence, albeit in the field of sport, we thought we’d make that our theme for 2012,” she said.

“We are calling for more community groups in the Newtownabbey area to get involved in projects to preserve our local environment and encouraging people to get involved at a grass roots level. There are hundreds of volunteers in improvement committees across Northern Ireland who work hard to create beautifully cared for towns and villages and they would no doubt like to hear from new supporters. Likewise we would like to see more schools, housing areas and healthcare facilities take up the Best Kept challenge this year.”

The closing date for the SuperValu Best Kept Town, Village and Housing Area Awards is April 20. Healthcare Facility Awards close on May 25 and the Schools category is open until tomorrow, Friday, March 2.

Anyone interested in getting involved in the SuperValu Best Kept Awards can contact NIAC on Tel: 028 9040 3681 or visit www.niacbestkept.com for more information.