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CO3 to Celebrate NI’s Third Sector Champions

CO3 to Celebrate NI’s Third Sector Champions

Press release 29th September 2015

Third Sector organisations are blazing a trail when it comes to best-practice leaderhship and service provision, according to the head of the umbrella group for voluntary, community and social enterprise chiefs in Northern Ireland.

Speaking at the launch of the CO3 leadership awards - Celebrating Champions 2016 - Nora Smith, Chief Executive of CO3, said that Third Sector leaders are at the forefront of delivering vital services and providing a voice for those in most need.

This is despite ongoing financial pressures including reduced overall funding and delayed processing of existing funding. In an era of austerity, more is expected from our sector.  We take confidence from strong dynamic and innovative leaders, who are leading by example in a challenging funding context.

"Against a backdrop of intensifying budget cuts, economic difficulties and political instability, Third Sector leaders work tirelessly, often behind-the-scenes, to provide the best possible service for communities in rural and urban areas,” said Nora.

“At a time when there is much uncertainty surrounding the welfare reforms in Northern Ireland, the most vulnerable in our society are being pushed further into poverty and face growing financial and emotional difficulties.

"These awards don't just pay tribute to those who work in the Third Sector, they recognise how the leaders go above and beyond the call of duty to help thousands of people across Northern Ireland,” she added.

The CO3 leadership awards, now in their fourth year and sponsored by Ecclesiastical Insurance, will acknowledge those leaders who have make a huge difference to their communities.  In addition, to receiving this accolade, this year’s award winners will for the first time will receive a series of prize funds.  Included in the prize fund offerings are a £2,500 cash prize, £2,500 voucher from Ulster University and a wide range of business consultancy support services also. 

The seven awards categories are Social Impact Champion, Third Sector Trustee of the Year, Lifetime Commitment to the Third Sector, Best Newcomer of the Year, Entrepreneurial Leader of the Year, Leading People and Inspiring Leader of the Year. The awards will take place on 25 February 2016.

David Lane, managing director of Ecclesiastical Insurance Ireland said: “We are delighted to support the CO3 Leadership Awards 2016. Ecclesiastical is owned by a charity and our profits go towards helping deserving causes and community projects. We believe it is incredibly important to recognize deserving individuals and leaders in the third sector and I wish all those attending the conference and awards, a fruitful and enlightening experience.”

Nora concluded: “The problems society faces in the coming years will be significant and many of the solutions will come from third sector organisations and leaders. I would urge all organisations to avail of this opportunity to showcase their expertise across Northern Ireland.”

Nominations for the awards close on 6 November 2015 and nomination forms are available at http://www.co3.bz/2016-awards/co3-leadership-awards-celebrating-champions




Carl Whyte

MW Advocate

T: 02890 267072