Final call for Spirit of Northern Ireland nominations

UTV's Pamela Ballantine presenting an award at the 2018 Spirit of Northern Ireland awards.
UTV's Pamela Ballantine presenting an award at the 2018 Spirit of Northern Ireland ceremony. Credit: UTV

With the deadline looming, a final call is being made for nominations for the Spirit of Northern Ireland awards which celebrate our unsung heroes.

This year’s awards are expected to be even more special, as they return after the coronavirus pandemic put paid to the usually annual event in 2020.

Game of Thrones star Ian McElhinney will once again sit on the Spirit of NI judging panel. Credit: Sunday Life

Traditionally, the Spirit of Northern Ireland awards are presented at a glittering gala dinner attended by a host of stars from stage, screen, sport and more, all captured in a programme produced by UTV.

While restrictions may still not allow for the usual ceremony, the Sunday Life organisers are determined to honour the ordinary people doing extraordinary things – people who have made a difference to the lives of others, with no thought of reward or recognition.

The Covid-19 pandemic has already shown that the local community is full of people prepared to go above and beyond to help others, so after a tough year, the awards will celebrate the best of Northern Ireland.

There are 10 categories in all, so if you know someone who has demonstrated a spirit of compassion, neighbourliness, charity, courage, or devotion, or someone who has gone beyond the call of duty in the fields of education, emergency response, healthcare, or sport, please send in your nominations.

Accomplished actor Ian McElhinney, star of Game of Thrones, Bloodlands and Derry Girls, returns to the judging panel and is joined by UTV presenter Pamela Ballantine.

Nominations will be received up until Monday 21 June – submit yours by emailing with the story of the person who has made a difference.

Spirit of NI award categories

  • Unsung Hero

  • Overcoming Adversity

  • Spirit of Youth

  • 999 Hero

  • Charity Champion

  • Spirit of Health

  • Spirit of Education

  • Caring Spirit

  • Spirit of Sport

  • Special Recognition

  • Climate Hero