Michaela recognised for community work

Michaela recognised for community work

6 October 2021

A DOWNPATRICK woman who kept residents in the Ballymote area connected during the pandemic has had her efforts recognised by the Housing Executive.

Michaela Hannaway was thanked by housing officials as part of their Good Neighbours Make Great Neighbourhoods campaign.

During the summer, Housing Executive staff and members of its Housing Community Network nominated tenants who have made a difference in communities all over Northern Ireland. After receiving dozens of nominations, Michaela was chosen as the ‘Good Neighbour’ for Downpatrick.

Michaela — who has lived in Ballymote for the past three years — volunteers with the local community group alongside other women living on the estate. 

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic they organised a range of activities to keep people’s spirits up, including socially distanced bingo as well as distributing activity packs to residents of all ages.

A delighted Michaela said she could not believe that she had been chosen as the ‘Good Neighbour’ for Downpatrick. 

“I love living in Ballymote as everyone here looks out for each other and is friendly,” she said. “This is why I enjoy helping my neighbours and doing things that bring us all together.

“The community group has big plans for next year, including transforming a piece of communal land on the estate. This was delayed because of Covid and I can’t wait to get started on turning this into an interactive wall mural.”

The Housing Executive’s South Down area manager, Liam Gunn, has explained why the Good Neighbours make Great Neighbourhoods campaign is important.

“Our estates are full of phenomenal people like Michaela, who make living in their community so special. This is why, as part of our 50th birthday celebrations, we are recognising them through this campaign,” he said.

“Michaela has played a pivotal role in Ballymote for years. She is the go to person on the estate and is always running projects that improve the lives of all the residents.”

Liam added: “From clean ups, to organising events and sharing the views of local people with service providers, Michaela is constantly giving up her time to help her neighbours.

“I am delighted that I have been given the opportunity to thank her, on behalf everyone in the Housing Executive, for everything she has done to help the community of Ballymote.”