Carrick man Jackie Waide has won the prestigious Green Flag Northern Ireland Employee of the Year award.
Jackie is Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s parks supervisor.
Deputy Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Cheryl Johnston, said: “I am thrilled that Jackie Waide, Parks Supervisor, was presented with the ‘Employee of the Year’ award.
“This award was open to all staff across the whole of Northern Ireland, so it is a great honour to be recognised at this level.
“It is wonderful to see hardworking staff recognised for their good work and effort all year round.”
Parks across Mid and East Antrim have been awarded a prestigious Green Flag Awards for cleanliness, safety and community involvement.
The winners include Eden’s Allotment Gardens;Marine Gardens; Shaftesbury Park Carrickfergus Mill Ponds; Bashfordsland Wood and Oakfield Glens in Carrick, Diamond Jubilee Wood, in Whitehead; The People’s Park and Ecos Nature Park, in Ballymena; Dixon Park and Carnfunnock Country Park, in Larne.
Mid and East Antrim’s deputy mayor continued: “We are so proud to be flying the Green Flag across so many of our Borough’s parks and open spaces.
“This is testament to the fantastic work of our parks team in ensuring our green spaces are among the best in Northern Ireland.
“As a council, we are committed to protecting, enhancing and promoting Mid and East Antrim’s parks and green spaces as superb places to visit, exercise and enjoy events.
“Holding a Green Flag Award brings with it a vast amount of prestige.
“Winning a Green Flag Award visibly demonstrates to the local community and councillors that a site is being well-managed for the benefit of the local community and local wildlife. I’d like to thank everyone involved in this process, including the Green Flag Award Scheme, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful and, of course, our hardworking staff who maintain and manage our parks and open spaces to such a high standard all year round.
“Finally, a big thank you to the local communities who enjoy our sites, get involved in our events and activities, and treat the sites with respect.”
The Green Flag Awards are judged on a range of criteria, including horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability and community involvement.
Dr Ian Humphreys, Chief Executive of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, said: “The Green Flag Award is a sign of a well-managed, clean and safe park.”
“We are delighted to be celebrating another record-breaking year for the Green Flag Award scheme.
“Parks matter to our society; this year more than 37 million people throughout the UK will visit a park, this is five million more than voted in June’s General Election.
“The Green Flag Award is a sign of a well-managed, clean and safe park and with many people increasingly relying on their local park as a place to exercise, relax and have fun, quality green space has never been more important.
“Research shows that people will only visit a park if they perceive it to be clean and safe; and the Green Flag Award is an easy way for the public to see at a glance that their park meets the highest standards.
“All the flags flying this year are a testament to the efforts of the hundreds of men and women, both staff and volunteers, who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.”
If you are interested in finding out further information about the Green Flag Award or other programmes run by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, call 028 9073 6920 or check out www.keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org.