Date: 29 Jan 2024
This year’s Eastside Awards in association with George Best Belfast City Airport has been the most successful to date.
A testament to the community’s engagement and support for the awards, almost 14,000 votes were cast by an enthusiastic public in partnership with Belfast Live to recognise favourites in seven categories.
The ballroom at Hastings Stormont Hotel was at capacity, filled with people heralding the excellence and achievements that define East Belfast.
Author Aidan Campbell BEM was recognised for his incredible charity work with the Eastside Award for Outstanding Contribution to East Belfast sponsored by East Belfast Enterprise. Aidan has published 24 books about East Belfast which he has painstakingly researched and, in doing so, has raised more than £180,000 for local charities.
Chair of the Eastside Awards committee and chief executive of East Belfast Enterprise, Jonathan McAlpin, said: “Since the Eastside Awards began eight years ago I’ve personally been very fortunate to witness the progressive momentum of the awards as they have steadily grown to become embedded as an annual celebration of all that is good about East Belfast.
“Each year my heart swells with pride as I have the privilege of presenting the Outstanding Contribution award to an individual whose name deserves a place in East Belfast’s history books. This year is no exception, with Aidan’s books delving into the past history of East Belfast they are an indelible appreciation of this part of the city for our future generations.
“I would like to congratulate this year’s Eastside Awards very deserving winners and I would also express my gratitude to the members of the public who took the time to get behind the public vote, championing their favourites in East Belfast.
“The unwavering support the awards has garnered over the years from the local community and our sponsors is pivotal to the success of the awards and I’m already eagerly looking forward with optimism to see what next year will bring.”
Michelle Hatfield, Director of Corporate Services at Belfast City Airport, said: “This is the eighth year that Belfast City Airport has partnered with the Eastside Awards to champion the very best that East Belfast has to offer.
“We are proud to have supported the Eastside Awards since its inception and the calibre of finalists has once again exceeded all expectations, showcasing all that is good and great about the community we are fortunate enough to call home.
“As a responsible neighbour, we strive to create sustainable and prosperous growth through the support of businesses, charities, schools, local groups, and volunteers who, like Belfast City Airport, are committed to enriching the area in which we live and work. Congratulations to all the worthy finalists and a massive well done to the winners!”
Eastside Awards in association with George Best Belfast City Airport winners are:
- Eastside Award for Apprentice of the Year sponsored by Wolseley Plumb & Parts: Adam Roberts, Charles Hurst Toyota Dundonald
- Eastside Award for Best Company to Work For sponsored by Fleet Financial: Lightyear
- Eastside Award for Business Growth sponsored by We’resure Insurance Services: MAD Colour
- Eastside Award for Business Start Up sponsored by Belfast City Council: Momentum
- Eastside Award for Community Impact sponsored by Belfast Harbour: Glentoran Social Partnership
- Eastside Award for Contribution to the Arts sponsored by EastSide Partnership: Scott’s Jazz Club
- Eastside Award for Environmental Sustainability sponsored by Kainos: Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful
- Eastside Award for Excellence in Health and Wellbeing sponsored by Better: Men’s Minds Matter NI
- Eastside Award for Favourite Beauty Business in East Belfast sponsored by Solv: Hands On Beauty
- Eastside Award for Favourite Eatery in East Belfast sponsored by Pacem: No 36
- Eastside Award for Favourite Hairdresser/Barber in East Belfast sponsored by Solv: Agency Hair
- Eastside Award for Favourite Primary Teacher in East Belfast sponsored by The Open University: Mr Devine, Strandtown Primary School
- Eastside Award for Favourite Post Primary Teacher in East Belfast sponsored by The Open University: Mr Jellie, Strathearn School
- Eastside Award for Favourite Takeaway in East Belfast sponsored by Hagan Homes: Flout!
- Eastside Award for School Hero of the Year sponsored by Belfast Live: Mrs Rainey, Strandtown Primary School
- Eastside Award for Sports Initiative of the Year sponsored by Phoenix Energy: Boundary Brewing Running Club
- Eastside Award for Tourism Experience sponsored by Reid Black: Templemore Baths Heritage Experience
- Eastside Award for Volunteer of the Year sponsored by East Belfast Mission: Stephen McDonald, Walkway Community Association
- Eastside Award for Young Person of the Year sponsored by George Best Belfast City Airport: Laurie Bell, Ashfield Girls’ High School
- Eastside Award for Outstanding Contribution sponsored by East Belfast Enterprise: Aidan Campbell BEM
The Eastside Awards host was television presenter Tara Mills. The VIP drinks reception was sponsored by Catalyst and entertainment was provided by Ajendance, Grosvenor Grammar School String Quartet, Phil Hart and Rory Nellis.