Portaferry win deserved

SIR, - The words strong, caring, welcoming, sense of community spirit, voluntary and effort are all synonymous with Portaferry which has just been awarded the Large Village Of The Year title, with an additional category award for Older People. This adds to the previous success as category winners in 2009 and 2010 - a remarkable achievement.

The reality is that the Portaferry community didn't suddenly acquire these strengths. It is no secret that these attributes have been in place for many years, even decades, with voluntary managed clubs and organisations continually operating by means of an ongoing supply chain of volunteers who are prepared to stand up and be counted for the betterment of the community. The GAA, football clubs, Portaferry Gala, Credit Union to name but a few, have been operating on a voluntary basis for many years, along with numerous groups including the recently formed Portaferry Community Collective.

There are many organisations in Portaferry who are consistently working, extremely hard, sometimes out of the limelight, quietly, but effectively, with the common vein running through them all as wanting to promote Portaferry as an even better place to live, to work and to do business.

I would therefore thank all the community volunteers down through the years, many of whom have since gone to their eternal rest, for their efforts and commitment to the organisations they were linked to

It is now, more than ever, important to remain focused on the current job in hand, even within these difficult times. It can sometimes be easier to sit back and do nothing; to do this however produces communities with no real heart, no real sense of purpose and above all no real community pride or success.

Yours etc.,