Community hero award for charity worker

Stephen Ellis is presented with his Local Community Hero Award by Sharon Walsh from the Tesco Newtownabbey store. INNT 43-475-CON
Stephen Ellis is presented with his Local Community Hero Award by Sharon Walsh from the Tesco Newtownabbey store. INNT 43-475-CON

Glengormley man Stephen Ellis who raised almost £23,000 for charity has won an award which recognises unsung heroes in the community.

The 40-year-old was presented with a Tesco Local Community Hero Award at the retailer’s Newtownabbey store for his charity work in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Stephen’s fundraising work began five years ago, shortly after his father Derek, who had been suffering from cancer passed away.

The reluctant hero said: “I am over the moon about receiving the award but I’d rather stay out of the limelight.

“I started to raise money for Marie Curie because they looked after my dad so well. They provided an excellent service. I thought it would be good to do something for them in return.”

He has mainly collected money through bucket collections at the Tesco Newtownabbey store, where he works although he has also undertaken fundraising treks in the Jordanian desert, the Grand Canyon and in the Borneo jungle.

Maria O’Prey, community champion, at Tesco Newtownabbey, said: “Stephen is a very modest man but I know his family are very proud of him. He is a true charity hero.”

at Tesco Newtownabbey said: “Stephen is very modest and doesn’t like any attention but I know his family are so proud of him. He is a true charity hero.”

Monthly winners receive a plaque and a £100 Tesco giftcard.

The Tesco Local Community Hero Award is aimed at recognising and rewarding people across Northern Ireland who have shown true hero qualities – either in the way they might have coped with adversity or the manner in which they have helped others.

Maria O’Prey, the Community Champion at the Tesco Newtownabbey store, explained: “Stephen is a worthy recipient of this award. He spends long hours fundraising for Marie Curie in both our store and by completing fundraising treks around the world.

“Stephen is very modest and doesn’t like any attention but I know his family are so proud of him. He is a true charity hero.”

Further details about the Local Community Hero Award, including terms and conditions, can be downloaded at www.facebook.com/tastenorthernireland.

All entries are considered by Tesco NI’s team of Community Champions, who are based at various stores throughout Northern Ireland. The monthly winners receive a plaque and a £100 Tesco giftcard.