Knockbreda Nursery School was the launch venue for the 2020 Northern Ireland Amenity Council’s (NIAC) Best Kept Awards today, as the search continues for a new decade of Northern Ireland’s ‘Best Kept’ places.
Last year the nursery school was selected as Best Kept School Winner for the Pre-Primary South Eastern Region, the winner of the Welcome Award and also the Overall Best Kept School 2019 Winner, Best of the Best.
The Best Kept School Awards, held in June, is part of the wider Northern Ireland Best Kept Awards initiative, now in its 63rd year, with the Best Kept Healthcare Awards taking place in September and the Best Kept Towns and Villages announced in October.
Over 90 awards are presented across six main categories at three ceremonies during the year and this year will see the Best Kept Awards join with TidyTowns in the South of Ireland for the 25th year, to celebrate ‘Ireland’s Best Kept Town’, at Malone House, Belfast, in June.
Attending the launch ceremony was NIAC President Doreen Muskett and Stephen Patton, Manager, Human Resources & Corporate Social Responsibility at George Best Belfast City Airport, sponsors of the prestigious environmental awards.
Praising the efforts of the 500 plus entrants who took part last year and encouraging communities and individuals to enter the 2020 competition, Ms Muskett said: “Every single person who participates in this competition is helping to make a real difference in their local area. We know having a good quality environment cannot be under estimated, it can have a big impact on our communities, health and well-being.
“We are certain that the 20th year of the third millennium will uncover many inspirational stories, which we can’t wait to hear. So, come out in force, support the competition and help us send out a strong message, that everyone young and old, can make a difference.
Stephen Patton, George Best Belfast City Airport said: “2020 marks the fourth year of Belfast City Airport’s partnership with the Best Kept Awards and we are once again delighted to be involved with an initiative that encourages individuals to adopt a sense of civic pride and work together with others for the greater good of their local communities.
“At Belfast City Airport, we deliver an award-winning Community Commitment Plan which focuses on four core pillars; Community, Education, Environment and People. That aligns us perfectly with the Best Kept Awards, a country-wide competition with the same aims and passions at its core.
“Each year this initiative receives hundreds of entries and we look forward to reviewing each and every one of them to find out the wonderful efforts being made across Northern Ireland.”
This year, the esteemed Best Kept judges are looking for schools, healthcare facilities, housing areas, towns and villages across Northern Ireland, that are taking action to protect and care for their local environment, creating safer, cleaner, healthier and more sustainable places to live, work and play. They will consider a range of criteria to determine the most deserving award recipients, including floral displays, grass roots environmental projects, and an absence of litter and graffiti. They will also look for underlying evidence of community participation in environmental initiatives, including the promotion of recycling and wildlife conservation.
The closing date for the Best Kept School Awards is the 13th of March. The Best Kept Town, Village and Housing Area Awards close on the 17th of April and the Healthcare Facility Awards are open until the 15th of May, 2020.
Entries to the Awards are now open. For more information on how to enter an awards category, visit www.bestkeptawardsni.com or call the NI Amenity Council on 028 9040 3681.