The Champion Ability Awards were held in Titanic Belfast to celebrate the achievements of people who work for the company or have been on Usel programmes over the last year in particular the EU funded STRIDE (Support and Training to Realise Individual Development and Employment) project.
Among the guests attending the ceremony were the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Nuala McAllister and the former winner of the Voice UK, Andrea Begley.
Bill Atkinson, CEO of Usel, paid tribute to all the winners of the Champion Ability Awards. He also presented a special Championing Ability Award to former Chairman, Jim Perry, who was awarded an MBE last year and has been instrumental in driving the Champion Ability ethos across Northern Ireland.
Mr Atkinson said: “Usel’s vision is to Champion the Ability of every individual whose lives we touch. We champion people with disabilities and health conditions to focus on their ability and not their disability. This year has been a significant growth year for our organisation and it is the staff and participants that have created the success.”
The Champion Ability Award winners were:
Partner of the Year Award – Belfast City Council
Employer of the Year Award – AEL(Private Sector) and Lisburn City Council (Public Sector)
Most distance travelled awards for participants x Cathal Larkin and Matthew Lynch
Sustainable Employment Award x 3 – Sarah McCartney, Peter Scott, James Fenton
Outstanding Services to Recycling – Stuart Carson
Outstanding Services to Manufacturing – Gerard McShane McShane and Joyce Lynas
Outstanding Business Support Services – Michele Thompson
Outstanding Services to Employability – Allison Reddick
Community Spirit Award – Geraldine Lawless
30 Years’ Service Awards:
Gerard McShane, Elizabeth Bolton, Andrew Willis, William Stewart, Brian Douglas, Bernadette Murphy, Robert Thompson.
40 Years’ Service Award – Oliver Murphy