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Joanna McVey, Trustee of the Fermanagh Trust presents the trophy to Knockninny Credit Union
Knockninny Credit Union have won the Fermanagh Trust sponsored Social Enterprise of the Year Award 2014 as part of the Fermanagh Herald Business Awards.
Killesher Community Development Association and Little Treasures Playgroup were also highly commended for the social and economic contribution they make to life in County Fermanagh.
The sponsoring of this prestigious award highlights the Fermanagh Trust’s commitment to supporting and celebrating organisations that exist to address social need. Knockninny Credit Union will now receive a grant from the Trust towards its work.
In operation for over 40 years, Knockninny Credit Union is an exclusively community based enterprise for the people of Teemore and Derrylin. It is managed entirely by volunteers who are entrusted by the membership to ensure the proper running and provision of services within the organisation. The Credit Union can be best described as: not for profit but for the welfare of the local community, offering access to finance, advice, saving and loans, giving a local alternative to high interest lenders.
Speaking during the awards ceremony which took place at the Killyhevlin Hotel, Donal McPhillips from Knockninny Credit Union said “We are thrilled to have won this award, thanks to everyone who voted for us and to the Fermanagh Trust for sponsoring. It is great to have received such a positive response from across the county and we are so delighted our hard work has been recognised. We’re very flattered but extremely grateful for the recognition. Well done also to Little Treasures playgroup and Killesher Community Development Association, it’s fantastic to see such recognition for our rural enterprises.”
Donal added “There have been hurdles to overcome along the way. Following the opening of our new building last year there was an armed robbery, but we quickly dealt with the issue and moved on to ensure proper service resumed and staff were provided with increased protection. Knockninny Credit Union will continue to be 100% not for profit. Any surplus will go back into providing improved service for members. We look upon this win as recognition for all Fermanagh Credit Unions who provide a fantastic social and community service.”
Also shortlisted for the award were Killesher Community Development Association. The cross community group aim to improve the quality of life of the Killesher area population by regenerating the area through the provision of social and physical services, infrastructural improvements and economic development. The area has benefitted from the completion of the Tully Mill Project into a licensed restaurant, the construction of Benaughlin Cottages self-catering tourist accommodation and the creation of the Larganess Centre. The good work carried out will lead to new visitors from further afield, the generation of income and employment and ultimately ensure sustainability of the enterprise.
Little Treasures Playgroup was another contender. Established in 1988, the cross community initiative based in Kinawley is run by a management committee made up from parents and volunteers. After becoming part of the pre-school expansion programme of the WELB in 1998, Little Treasures has established an excellent working relationship with local primary schools, opening up new lines of communication and schemes.
Lauri McCusker, Director of the Fermanagh Trust, who presented the award said “Congratulations to Knockninny Credit Union, they are worthy winners who provide a vital service and we wish them every success with their future work. Well done also to Killesher Community Development Association and Little Treasures Playgroup. We were overwhelmed by the response and the judges had a difficult decision to make. It is great that the success of these organisations has been highlighted. We will continue to recognise Fermanagh’s social enterprises which make a difference, which inspire and motivate and whose work makes a fantastic contribution to the community.”
The Fermanagh Trust report on social enterprises in Fermanagh, launched in December 2012, highlighted the huge contribution these organisations make to life in the county. Knockninny Credit Union is an excellent standard bearer for social enterprises in Fermanagh 2014. To read the report click here