Director of Ballymoney Foodbank, Peter Rollins, is one of the recipients of the 2020 Openreach ‘Community Connector Awards’ after being nominated by North Antrim MP, Ian Paisley.
Openreach says that the awards are their way of ‘celebrating and saying thanks to the extraordinary people from communities across the country’.
MPs were asked to nominate constituents from their area who they felt ‘contributed’ to and ‘positively impacted’ their communities during the COVID-19 situation.
A spokesperson for Openreach said: “The last year has brought out the very best in people in the most challenging conditions. As we’ve seen on the news, social media and first-hand, people have shown great resilience under pressure.
“We want to celebrate these efforts and all the amazing people who’re making a real difference during these difficult times.”
Accepting the award via video, Peter began: “I am delighted to receive the Openreach Community Connectors Award on behalf of Ballymoney foodbank”.
Thanking North Antrim MP Ian Paisley for the nomination, Peter went on to say: “We’re an emergency foodbank helping local people who are unable to put food on the table today, for whatever reason.
We were ale to continue throughout the pandemic with our normal opening hours every Tuesday and Friday without fail.
“December past was our busiest month ever, giving food to 605 people, and the Friday before Christmas was our busiest day ever giving food to 187 people in a two and a half-hour session“.
Speaking following the announcement, Ian Paisley congratulated Peter and the Ballymoney Foodbank.
“I want to take the opportunity to congratulate Ballymoney foodbank for achieving the Openreach Community Connectors Award”.
Continuing the MP went on to say: “What a fantastic achievement. You really put your backs into it this and I really appreciate the efforts that have been made in reaching out to those who are really in need and who really require assistance in our community.
“Well done, congratulations, you guys really deserve this”.
Clive Selley, Chief Executive of Openreach, said: “We were inspired to launch the Community Connectors Awards by the efforts of our engineering team. The stories received from across the country have been inspiring and show how many people are working to make a difference and support their neighbours during lockdown.
“Ballymoney Foodbank hasn’t sought recognition but is a wonderful example to its community. I’m delighted and very grateful to be able to thank the team there for everything they continue to do to support the vulnerable in our society.”