Cullybackey woman recognised with British Citizen Award for work in local community
Cullybackey woman Elizabeth Steede has recently been recognised for the years she has contributed into her local community, with a British Citizen Award (BCA) - a recognition programme that represents the high regard of an individual’s endeavors.
Arduous in her efforts, Elizabeth was nominated for the prestigious award for her involvement with Cullybackey Cub Scouts and Cullybackey Community Group which have undertaken a number of positively impacting initiatives in the village, and have made a difference to the lives of the local community. All this, along with a full time job with Supporting Communities.
Nominated by Lt Stephen Lyons of 1st Battalion Army Cadet Force (ACF), he said of Elizabeth:
“During COVID Elizabeth approached Cullybackey Army Cadets to assist with the distribution of food parcels. We have always had a close relationship with Cullybackey Community Partnership (CCP) so of course we agreed. She has also assisted the Army Cadets by assessing sections of their Duke of Edinburgh Awards and assisting of expedition training.”
“Elizabeth has been an outstanding member of the community and giving back in the form of both youth and community work and it was fantastic news that she is to receive this recognition!”
Cullybackey Cub Scouts
Elizabeth joined the Cullybackey Cub Scouts as a leader in 2007 and in that time she has also assisted with the beavers and took on the necessary training to provide an “all rounded” package for the children in her care. As a previous member of Causeway Coast and then County Antrim Paddle sport (CAPS) she has been able to transfer her skills and knowledge onto the cubs and scouts. Assisting in the training of scouts ahead of their Canadian Canoe trips and going onced herself to supervise them.
Billy Montgomery of Cullybackey Cub Scouts said:
“She has been assisting not only with canoeing but as a qualified Archery Instructor and has organised local archery for the Scouts and assisted on any camping expedition and the annual Jamborees.”
Cullybackey Community Partnership
In 2014 the hardworking local lady joined the committee of the Cullybackey Development which was later replaced by the Cullybackey Community Partnership (CCP) and has worked diligently, gaining grants for the benefit of the village and bringing the youth organisations together to help on various projects such as litterpicking, the window displays in the Community Business Centre, organising Christmas events and administration of the CCP Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Over the years Cullybackey have earned Ulster in Bloom and Britian in Bloom awards.
Despite being in the “vunerable” category herself Elizabeth recognised that many in the village would be confined to their homes for many months. As a result of many members of CCP being 60+ and also self isolating, she took herself out and about in the village taking various photos of the beautiful areas within the village and also running competitions.
Elizabeth populated the CCP Facebook with various photos of the beautiful areas in the village and organised ‘guess where’, keeping the community engaged and many of the comments at the time conveyed the little bit of happiness for those who were self-isolating who could not get out to see the changing fauna and wildlife such as carpets of bluebells and snowdrops, kingfishers, young ducklings, and more.
She also sought funding for a range of projects including delivery of food parcels, ‘Grow your own’ (GYO) kits and various wellbeing packages.
Elizabeth works hard individually and as part of a team and both she and her colleagues in CCP earned the Mid and East Antrim Mayor’s Certificate of Regonition from the Mayor in appreciation of their efforts.
Margaret Murphy from Cullybackey Community Partnership said:
“She is always working behind the scenes and we feel her efforts should be recognised”.
NI Tennants Action Project
Elizabeth has also supported the community through her employment as an administrator with NI Tenants Action Project now Supporting Communities for over 25 years.
At a presentation in the Mid and East Antrim Council Mayor’s Parlour, Elizabeth said:
“I feel very humbled to be receiving this award and would like to also say a big thank you to all our volunteers”.
Mid and East Antrim, Deputy Mayor Beth Adger said of her actions:
“Elizabeth’s biggest impact is the improvement of mental health during the difficult times with cross community projects such as the delivery of food parcels and household goods during COVID. These efforts have been greatly appreciated by the vulnerable in the community, she ensured the spirit of the community continued in the Village. I feel she is most deserving of this Award”.