NI4Kids
Grandparent of the Year Frances Quinn from Lisburn receives her award from singing sensation Peter Corry

Northern Ireland’s family superstars have been honoured at a space-themed out-of-this-world NI4Kids gala awards ceremony at Belfast City Hall.

The Ni4kids Family Awards recognise and celebrate the individuals and organisations from across Northern Ireland who go to the moon and back for families with youngchildren.

Nadia Duncan, editor at Ni4kids said of the inspiration behind the event:

“Six years ago we created this event in honour of all the amazing stars across Northern Ireland who put families with young children first. This event is our opportunity to say thank you and beam a spotlight on those who have made huge sacrifices and gone to great lengths to help their own families; shown the ultimate dedication to their jobs in helping children, demonstrated great courage in the face of adversity and the most difficult of circumstances – or always shown up to help those in need with advice and support. We thought aspace-theme was appropriate this year to reflect the room full of family stars we have with us today.”

Three finalists in each category and their guests were invited to attend the gala awards ceremony on Friday 7 July at Belfast City Hall hosted by Q Radio presenter Gareth Stewart, where all ages were entertained with stellar performances from Young at Art performers. There was also a surprise big bang on the day as Ryan Tracey, the balloon modelling extraordinaire from Omagh who impressed the judging panel on this year’s BTG, set a new world record for the quickest time to create five balloon animals while blindfolded! Ryan was also a finalist in the Family Friendly Business of the Year category. He developed his passion for entertaining through balloon modelling because of his five children and he has spent over 2,000 hours training, has made over 60,000 balloons and engaged with thousands of children throughout Northern Ireland.

Other excited winners of the day included Child of the Year 16-year-old Caitlin O’Hanlon from Ballygawley who overcame her three-year battle with anorexia and self-harming to set up a Facebook page to help other children coping the same problems and Primary School Teacher of the Year, principal of DrumlinsIntegrated Primary School, Janice Marshall. Pupils and staff will be moving to a new school this September and say that’s all thanks to the hard work and dedication of Mrs Marshall.

The Ni4kids Family Awards were supported by Forestside and Action For Children.

“Each year, Forestside is blown away by the incredible candidates put forward for Primary School Teacher of the Year. These individuals play a crucial role in our children’s futures, and to see examples of where they have gone above and beyond to support andeducate them is inspiring. That said, this year’s winner is exceptional. Janice Marshall, Principal of Drumlins Integrated Primary School, began with a school with no accommodation and over the years has grown it into a 180-pupil school in Ballynahinch, simply through sheer determination. She is a clear winner in our eyes, and we are proud to be recognising her for this monumental achievement.” Lee Cutler, Centre Manager, Forestside

“There were plenty of strong nominations this year but Caitlin stood out because of her courage in trying to help other young people. There is a lot of stigma and misunderstanding around mental health issues for young people. By standing up and having her voice heard, Caitlin shows other young people that it’s normal to have problems in life and it’s always ok to ask for help. We are really pleased to be able recognise Caitlin and celebrate her win today” Dawn Shaw, NI Director, Action for Children

 

2017 Winners and Finalists

 

FAMILY VISITOR ATTRACTION OF THE YEAR

Winner – The Argory, Moy

Finalists – Tannaghmore Farm Museum & Gardens, Craigavon & HMS Caroline, Belfast

 

EVENT OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by Odyssey Cinemas Belfast

Winner – Playful Museums Festival, NMNI

Finalists – Beat Carnival Village, Ormeau Park Belfast & Halloween at Mount Stewart

 

FAMILY SUPPORT ORGANISATION OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by Family Media Group

Winner – Action Deaf Youth, Belfast

Finalists – Brain Injury Matters, Belfast & The Niamh Louise Foundation, Dungannon

 

COACH OR TUTOR OF THE YEAR

Winner – Joan Putt, JP Swim

Finalists – Una Higgins, Belfast & John & Clare Hegarty, Andersonstown Basketball Club

NI4Kids
Joan Putt

 

PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHER OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by Forestside

 

Winner – Janice Marshall, Drumlins Integrated PS

Finalists – Amanda Duffy-Phillips, Omagh North Nursery School & Henry Walls, St Colmcille’s Primary School, Ballymena

 

FAMILY RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR

Winner – Beef and Bird, Lisburn

Finalists – Fratelli Belfast and Glagorm & LeWinters at the Strangford Arms Hotel

 

 

CHILDCARE AWARD

Winner – Sleepy Hollow Day Nursery, Crumlin

Finalists – Juniors Day Care, Omagh & Katrina Monaghan, Newry

 

FAMILY FRIENDLY BUSINESS OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by Young At Art

Winner – Dunmurry Dental Practice

Finalists – Allstate Northern Ireland, Duff Balloons, Omagh & Crown Plaza Hotel, Belfast

 

MUM OF THE YEAR

Winner – Danielle Davis, Newtownards

Finalists – Nicola Gardiner, Carrickfergus & Sheree McConnell-Duffy, Moneymore

 

DAD OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by Q Radio

Winner – John Hodge, Belfast

Finalists – Graig Newberry, Comber & Paul Peters, Portadown

 

CHILD OF THE YEAR

Sponsored by Action For Children

Winner – Caitlin O’Hanlon, Ballygawley

Finalists – Sean Hawkins, Belfast, Ben Mooney, Crawfordsburn & Alfie Lewis, Dungannon

 

GRANDPARENT OF THE YEAR

Winner – Frances Quinn, Lisburn

Finalists – David Booth, Belfast & Cheryl Duff, Randalstown

 

INDIVIDUAL RECOGNITION AWARD

Winner – Julie McIntyre, Carrickfergus

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