The third annual Eastside Awards in association with George Best Belfast City Airport was the biggest and best yet, as 320 guests attended the glittering Burns Night ceremony, hosted by television presenter Tara Mills, recognising the best of East Belfast at Hastings Stormont Hotel. The top accolade for Outstanding Contribution was awarded to East Belfast man Mervyn Hempton, who is committed to creating employment and wealth across the city with entrepreneurship and economic development at his heart. As Chair of East Belfast Enterprise, he was instrumental in the building of the business park and 60 incubation units. Before his retirement, Mervyn was Chief Executive of Allied Bakeries, achieving a major lifelong goal of securing employment or stability for more than 450 families in East Belfast and, as Chairman of Northern Ireland Bakery Council and President of Irish Association of Master Bakers, he was awarded Freedom of the City of London. He is currently Chair of Northern Ireland Piping and Drumming School which provides music tuition to children with special needs. And Ashfield Girls’ School scored a hat trick, with pupil Coleen Bergantinos scooping the Young Person of the Year award, the third year running for the school winning in that category.
Eastside Awards 2019 winners are:
Michelle Hatfield, Director of Corporate Services at George Best Belfast City Airport, principal sponsor said: “Belfast City Airport is proud to support the Eastside Awards for a third consecutive year. The Eastside Awards is a natural fit for Belfast City Airport as we celebrate those individuals and groups that make our community the success it is.
“We all share and benefit from the continuing success of East Belfast and I want to congratulate all the finalists. The continuing hard work and commitment of the people of East Belfast make it such a great place to live, work and play.”
Jonathan McAlpin, Chief Executive of East Belfast Enterprise and Chair of Eastside Awards Committee, said: “When I had a vision of bringing the people of East Belfast together to celebrate all that is great about our little corner of the city, I honestly had no idea that we would grow in three short years to be presenting the Eastside Awards in front of 320 guests.
“I’m truly humbled and honoured that the judges of the third Eastside Awards have recognised such an amazing and diverse range of winners and these awards have excelled beyond my wildest expectations to be a magnificent success.”
Eastside Awards finalists were treated to a VIP reception courtesy of sponsor The Waterside Belfast and 320 guests gathered to recognise all that is great about East Belfast. On arrival at Hastings Stormont Hotel, guests were entertained by musicians from Grosvenor Grammar School before being treated to a performance by Bright Lights Dance Group and Murray School of Irish Dancing.
It’s a hat trick for Eastside Awards in association with George Best Belfast City Airport with a consistently high calibre of entries being received.
A new element was introduced to the third annual awards with the public voting for their favourite beauty salon, hair salon, eatery and takeaway, attracting more than 5,000 votes on the Belfast Telegraph website. A panel of independent judges also met to rigorously assess the highest number of entries received since the awards first launched in 2017 to recognise all that is truly great about East Belfast.
Jonathan McAlpin, Chief Executive of East Belfast Enterprise and Chair of Eastside Awards Committee, said: “It’s a hat trick for the Eastside Awards with a phenomenally high calibre of entries from local people across the community in this third year. With such a diverse range of finalists, our awards ceremony in January will be a superb celebration of the best of East Belfast.”
Stephen Patton, Human Resources and Corporate Responsibility Manager at George Best Belfast City Airport said: “Belfast City Airport is a proud sponsor of the Eastside Awards for the third year. The awards are a brilliant opportunity to celebrate individuals and organisations who make a significant contribution to the development of their community.
“At the airport, we are embedded in the local community through a number of initiatives including our Community Fund, adopted schools programme and High Flyers Apprenticeship Scheme. Earlier this year, our Community Fund celebrated investing just over £400,000 in 150 local projects, with many activities in east Belfast.”
The Eastside Awards Finalists are:
Eastside Award for Favourite Beauty Salon sponsored by Solv
Beauty Culture, Beyoutiful Hair and Beauty Salon, The Secret Day Spa
Eastside Award for Favourite Hair Salon sponsored by Solv
Company Haircutters, LaVeau Hair, Urbanroots
Eastside Award for Favourite Eatery sponsored by Solv
The Lamppost Café, Orchard Café, Peppercorn Cafe
Eastside Award for Favourite Takeaway sponsored by Solv
The Fryar Tuck, Mandarin City, Nicos Pizza Pasta
Eastside Award for Tourism Experience sponsored by Titanic Belfast, Titanic Foundation and Titanic Quarter
East Belfast Mission – Turas; Hidden Ulster Tours; We Are Vertigo
Eastside Award for Individual Contribution to Sport sponsored by Millar McCall Wylie
Artur Kopyt, Glentoran Football Club Academy Polish Section; Gervis Knox and Keith Knox, Ormeau Table Tennis Club & Ulster Table Tennis; Alex McGreevy and Philip Corr, Titanic
Quarter Cycling Club
Eastside Award for Contribution to the Arts sponsored by Phoenix Natural Gas
Aly Harte; Arlene Megaw, East Belfast Mission; Strand Arts Centre
Eastside Award for Educator of the Year sponsored by We’re Sure
Beverley Cripps, Ashfield Girls’ High School; Aly Harte; Lynn Myers, Strathearn School
Eastside Award for Best Community Project sponsored by Urban Villages
Charter NI – Diamond Project; East Belfast Mission – Turas; Groundwork Northern Ireland
Eastside Award for Employer of the Year sponsored by Fleet Financial
Oasis Travel; Odyssey Bowl; Precept IT
Titanic Eastside Award for Innovation sponsored by Titanic Belfast, Titanic Foundation and Titanic Quarter
Proud; Spectra Sensory Clothing; We Are Vertigo
Eastside Award for Business Start-Up sponsored by Belfast City Council
Home Away From Home; Marketing Tech & Design; Spectra Sensory Clothing
Eastside Award for Business Growth sponsored by Ulster Bank
Belfast Pilates & Physiotherapy; Precept IT; Totalis Construction Ltd
Eastside Award for Volunteer of the Year sponsored by Wolseley
Jodie Killops, Glentoran Football Club; Pamela Loan, East Belfast Mission; Brian White, Brain Injury Matters
Eastside Award for Young Person of the Year sponsored by George Best Belfast City Airport
Coleen Bergantinos, Ashfield Girls’ High School; Jonathan McLaughlin, Grosvenor Grammar School; Mason Robinson, Pocket Pal
The recipient of a special Outstanding Contribution award sponsored by East Belfast Enterprise will be announced at the third annual awards ceremony as chosen by the committee. This individual will be awarded for the outstanding contribution they have made to the East Belfast community.
The third annual Eastside Awards will be hosted by BBC presenter Tara Mills who will announce the winners at a Burns Night themed celebration, with a pre dinner reception sponsored by The Waterside, Belfast, in Hastings Stormont Hotel on Friday 25 January 2019.
Finalists for the Eastside Awards will each receive two complimentary tickets for the awards ceremony and additional tickets for Eastside Awards are priced at £45.00 plus VAT and can be purchased by clicking here.
Three cheers for the best of East Belfast as the third annual Eastside Awards launches in association with George Best Belfast City Airport, celebrating the achievements of the businesses and people of East Belfast.
Open for entry until 19 October, new categories have been added to this year’s accolades recognising the thriving beauty and foodie industries within East Belfast and members of the public are being encouraged to vote for their Favourite Hair Salon, Favourite Beauty Salon, Favourite Takeaway Outlet and Favourite Eatery.
Eastside Awards in association with George Best Belfast City Airport categories open for application or nomination are: Eastside Award for Tourism Experience, Eastside Award for Individual Contribution to Sport, Eastside Award for Contribution to the Arts, Eastside Award for Educator of the Year, Eastside Award for Best Community Project, Eastside Award for Employer of the Year, Titanic Eastside Award for Innovation, Eastside Award for Business Start-Up, Eastside Award for Business Growth, Eastside Award for Volunteer of the Year, Eastside Award for Young Person of the Year.
Jonathan McAlpin of East Belfast Enterprise was behind the original Eastside Awards concept and is Chair of the organising committee. Launching this year’s awards Jonathan said: “It’s a real privilege to be launching the third annual Eastside Awards. And it gives me such pleasure to be involved in recognising everything that is the best about East Belfast. From celebrating the achievements of our young people to those who are contributing to the economic impact of the area, to inspirational residents who volunteer their time to helping others and those who entertain or who are committed to our next generation.”
Michelle Hatfield, Director of Corporate Services at George Best Belfast City Airport said: “East Belfast is a hotbed of cultural, sporting and economic success made possible by the amazing people that call this great place home, or come to work or play in its surrounds. For that reason Belfast City Airport is once again privileged to be the principal partner of the Eastside Awards, which look to recognise individuals and organisations that make East Belfast proud. Our continued association with the Eastside Awards is one small element of a significant community strategy at Belfast City Airport, which places our community, its education, environment and young people at the core of our business. I would encourage East Belfast to support the Eastside Awards so we can together celebrate our local success.”
East Belfast TV presenter Tara Mills will host the awards at an evening of celebration on Friday 25 January 2019 in Hastings Stormont Hotel.
The free to enter awards are being supported by George Best Belfast City Airport,
Belfast City Council, East Belfast Enterprise, Fleet Financial, Millar McCall Wylie, Phoenix Natural Gas, Solv, Titanic Belfast, Titanic Foundation, Titanic Quarter, Ulster Bank, Urban Villages, We’re Sure and Wolseley. The media partner is Belfast Telegraph.
All media enquiries: Nicola Bothwell t 07590 606727 e firstname.lastname@example.org
Eastside Awards social media channels:
www.facebook.com/eastsideawards; www.twitter.com/east_awards #eastawardsni
Eastside Awards Celebrating the Best of East Belfast
We caught up with some of the sponsors of the third annual Eastside Awards ahead of the launch to find out why they think it’s important to support these unique awards which celebrate the best of East Belfast.
For the third year, George Best Belfast City Airport has been named as principal sponsor of the awards and Michelle Hatfield, Director of Corporate Services at George Best Belfast City Airport, said: “East Belfast is a hotbed of cultural, sporting and economic success made possible by the amazing people that call this great place home, or come to work or play in its surrounds. For that reason Belfast City Airport is once again privileged to be the principal partner of the Eastside Awards, which look to recognise individuals and organisations that make East Belfast proud.
“Our continued association with the Eastside Awards is one small element of a significant community strategy at Belfast City Airport, which places our community, its education, environment and young people at the core of our business.”
Michelle added: “I would encourage East Belfast to support the Eastside Awards so we can together celebrate our local success.”
Jonathan McAlpin is chair of the awards committee and Chief Executive of East Belfast Enterprise which has been sponsoring the awards since the beginning. Jonathan said: “Eastside Awards has quickly become synonymous with recognising everything that is great about East Belfast and the first two awards ceremonies were a magnificent success so we are confident that we are progressing to another awesome celebration ceremony. As sponsor of the business start up category, East Belfast Enterprise is proud to be supporting those who are contributing to the economic impact of the area. These awards are such a positive celebration of our little corner of the city.”
Phoenix Natural Gas has been sponsoring the awards since the beginning as well and Communications Manager, Geri Wright, said: “Phoenix Natural Gas is delighted to continue to support the Eastside Awards to recognise and reward talent within the East Belfast Community in which we are based. Having been involved in supporting the awards from the beginning, it’s great to see that the awards have gone from strength to strength over the last three years. The success of the awards is testament to the talent of the local community and the contributions made through business, voluntary and community work. Phoenix Natural Gas is proud to be part of such a positive initiative that showcases the best of the East as a hub for creativity, culture and innovation and we look forward to another fantastic year for the awards in 2019.”
Ulster Bank sponsors the small business category and Keith Thompson, Business Development Manager, said: “Over the past few years East Belfast has seen significant development, contributing to the thriving economy in Northern Ireland with tourism, retail, food and drink as well as sport. At Ulster Bank we continue to serve local communities with a diverse range of ways to bank – face-to-face, over the phone, or online and through our digital app. We’re also supporting local enterprise through our Business Banking offering and our Ulster Bank Boost programme of events. We see the Eastside Awards as a perfect opportunity to further support local SMEs and celebrate all that is great about East Belfast.
Stephen Kane, Managing Director of Solv Group is a proud East Belfast native having lived and worked in East Belfast all his life. He got involved with Eastside Awards after being invited to the Aisling Awards in West Belfast. Stephen said: “I was very impressed by the professionalism of the event and when I was asked to assist in setting up the Eastside Awards I was honoured. It has been a delight to showcase East Belfast and its residents at their finest moments and the most interesting part of this journey has been learning about the many, many good things that are happening on your doorstep, what seems, every day that until now I was totally unaware off.”
Stephen added: “To all in East Belfast, keep up the good work and keep telling your stories!!”
Damian Campbell, Head of Corporate Sales at Fleet Financial, said that they are delighted to be involved with the Eastside Awards and their celebration of the best in East Belfast again. Damian said; “It’s truly inspiring to see how business, sport, education and other community groups come together to help build and develop a thriving, vibrant community which gives everyone the opportunity to participate in its success. The Eastside Awards provides the opportunity for people and organisations to highlight their endeavours and more importantly celebrate together”.
You can register your interest for the Eastside Awards 2019 at www.eastsideawards.org or by emailing email@example.com.