Voting opens for Person to be Proud of competition

Launching the 'firmus energy Person to Be Proud Of competition' is Declan McGuckin, customer care assistant, Michael Scott, general manager and Ruth Forsythe, customer care co-ordinator for firmus energy. The local natural gas company is supporting the Johnston Press competition in celebration of reaching its 50,000 customers milestone in Northern Ireland. INLT 10-609-CON

Launching the 'firmus energy Person to Be Proud Of competition' is Declan McGuckin, customer care assistant, Michael Scott, general manager and Ruth Forsythe, customer care co-ordinator for firmus energy. The local natural gas company is supporting the Johnston Press competition in celebration of reaching its 50,000 customers milestone in Northern Ireland. INLT 10-609-CON

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Have your say

There are seven shortlisted nominees to vote for in our special Person To Be Proud Of awards supported by local natural gas supplier, Firmus Energy.

All you have to do is vote for your favourite and in this case you can vote early and vote often.

Firmus has recently connected its 50,000th customer in Northern Ireland to the lower-cost, convenient fuel.

As general manager Michael Scott explained: “Firmus Energy prides itself on its excellent customer service record and, with 90 team members in its Antrim headquarters, all employees are trained to the highest standards.

“Our employees work together very well to help each other, much like people living alongside each other in a community,” said Mr Scott. “We know that some go well beyond what is expected of them and in Firmus Energy, we recognise this.

“We are delighted to support this competition, acknowledging the unsung heroes across Northern Ireland for whom helping others is a way of life. “This competition aims to recognise just some of those individuals and highlight how their selfless actions benefit other local people.

To find out more about how to switch to natural gas, visit www.firmusenergy.co.uk or call 0845 032 4567.

THE NOMINEES

CYRIL APSLEY (01)

Retired Carrickfergus Council sweeping operative Cyril is still active, helping to keep Fold’s Barn Halt Cottages - where he lives - and the surround area clear of litter.

Staff and tenants appreciate Cyril’s hard work, which extends to litterpicking on nearby streets, as well the grounds at Barn Social Club.

Cyril does it all voluntarily and without complaint, maintaining the high standards he upheld when employed by the council, often returning to the depot with his cart stacked so high with litter that he could hardly see over the top of it.

HARRY CHILD (02)

For over 35 years, Harry has selflessly given his time to voluntary youth work throughout Newtownabbey, first through his church, Carnmoney Presbyterian.

Many people have turned to Harry in a time of need and has been an inspiration to his three children, especially Philip, who was diagnosed with autism at a young age and now, aged 20, helps Harry while volunteering in New Mossley Presbyterian. Where he gives his all to helping the children and teenagers.

At 62 years of age and a hip and knee replacement operation later, Harry has slowed down in pace, but not in heart. He was involved in getting a special needs youth club set up in New Mossley Presbyterian, where he leads the youth fellowship.

He is the leader of the weekly youth club, the drop inn centre, and also helps out at the church’s community cafe twice a week.

MOIRA HUTCHINSON (03)

Moira has devoted her life to Irish dancing, running her own school. She and pupils frequently entertained at various nursing homes.

Moira is also the head leader of Beacon House, a mental health group that meets in Larne Day Centre on Monday nights. Every week there is a different activity for the members and if they aren’t in the centre, they are off on bus trips.

Dog lover Moira runs a stall at Larne Market to raise funds for animal shelters and most recently has been raising money to help stop the abuse of dancing bears abroad.

KRIS JAMES (04)

Kris is a full-time carer to his children Kaden, 4, who is autistic, and three-year-old Ana-Lucia, who has special needs.

Last year he held a charity auction for Roddensvale school and raised £5,000, as well as £500 for Autism NI; he climbed Ben Nevis raising £1,350; and aims to cycle from London to Paris this June for Autism NI, following a six-hour spin bike marathon in April at Sainsbury, Carrickfergus, to raise sponsorship money.

CARLEE LETSON (05)

Carlee is the founder of PIPS Larne, which strives to raise awareness of suicide and to help families bereaved by it.

Following the untimely death of her brother seven years ago, Carlee became acutely aware that there was no service provision within the East Antrim area for families who lost loved ones to suicide, nor any services for people at risk of suicide. She makes herself available 24/7, 365 days per year to be there for someone in crisis.

Carlee has organised numerous fundraising events to raise revenue to enable her to produce information leaflets in conjunction with the Public Health Authority and is working relentlessly to secure funding for premises for PIPS Larne.

Her ethos is: Your family, Your friends, Your community - Suicide: Your Business.

DARREN MORROW (06)

Darren works for a local charity in Larne as a qualified social worker.

He has an extensive caseload, but never complains nor misses a day from work.

Darren is passionate about his job and strives to make a difference.

JOHN SCOTT (07)

Former Newtownabbey mayor and resident of Islandmagee, John has been nominated for his work in the community, especially on behalf of older people.

John, who runs the community charity shop, Twice is Nice, does listen to folk and tries to help all on both sides of the community.

FOR FULL DETAILS ON HOW TO VOTE FOR YOUR FAVOURITE, SEE THIS WEEK’S NEWTOWNABBEY TIMES, ON SALE NOW.