Northern Ireland’s most impactful social enterprises were celebrated last night at the 2023 NI Social Enterprise Awards, in partnership with AtkinsRéalis.
Winners were announced at the prestigious black tie event in Belfast’s Crowne Plaza, hosted by local radio presenter and SENI ambassador Cate Conway. It was an evening of celebration for the 550 individuals who attended from the private, public, and social enterprise sector.
The annual awards recognise talented individuals, teams and organisations for their unique contribution and significant impact to society in Northern Ireland. Over the last 11 years, the awards have promoted the incredible work and achievements of social enterprise businesses, highlighting the active role they play in changing communities, building more inclusive places to live, and making a positive impact on our environment.
Spanning across 18 categories, a diverse range of deserving individuals and businesses were among the winners. A full list of winners can be found below.
Stephen McClelland was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award recognising his contribution to the sector and leadership excellence in Newry and Mourne Enterprise Agency. Radius Housing picked up the top accolade of the night, winning ‘Social Enterprise of the Year’ for their exceptional social impact and ongoing work with local schools and communities.
Other winners included Bolster Community who scooped Outstanding Staff Team of the Year and Janet Schofield from Compass Advocacy Network (CAN) won Leader of the Year.
Reflecting on the awards ceremony, Colin Jess, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise Northern Ireland, said: “This year we received the highest level of entries, and our judges were impressed by the quality of the entries. Applications reflected the incredible resilience, entrepreneurial spirit, passion, and dedication of those working in the sector. It was clear to see the unwavering commitment to change lives, change communities and create social change.
“These awards not only celebrate talent and innovation but also brings together everyone in one room who work at the heart of the social enterprise movement. It is truly inspirational to witness the impact that these Social Enterprise winners and finalists have made to society and the local Northern Ireland economy.
“Well done to all our winners, keep up the great work. I would also like to thank our sponsors for their support in making the awards possible.”
Brendan Gallagher, Social Value Manager, AtkinsRéalis commented: “We were thrilled to attend and also sponsor last night’s NI Social Enterprise Awards 2023. It was a terrific evening and as headline sponsors it was great to support the social enterprise sector in Northern Ireland and get a glimpse at the amazing work and positive social value delivered by social organisations locally and regionally. Congratulations to all the winners!”
Individual category sponsors included AtkinsRéalis, Ulster Bank, Rapid Agency, NI Housing Executive, Department for the Economy, H&J Martin, Evolv IT, Social Enterprise Academy, VIable Corporate Services, Lockton, AtkinsRéalis, Hays, NI Support Service, Department for Communities, Firmus Energy, Irish League of Credit Unions, Lockton, Edwards & Co, ProAptivity, Community Finance Ireland and the Construction Employers Federation.
For further information, go to www.socialenterpriseni.org.