South West College hosted a special gourmet dining event to celebrate the contributions of 16 community heroes at its Erne Campus in Enniskillen on Thursday evening. The event followed a public call for nominations which resulted in dozens of worthy submissions received from across the region.

The event hosted by students taking part in the college’s Culinary Arts programmes, featured a menu specially designed for the evening and celebrated the finest local produce. Guests invited to the event were recognised for the efforts they have made to improve the lives of those around them, whether at home, in their local community, in their workplace, sports club, school or health care setting.

The Celebrating Heroes evening also coincides with the end of the first academic year in the new campus building which has received international acclaim since doors opened in September 2021. Reflecting on the special event, Carol Viney, Campus Manager said;

‘The past year has been truly momentous in the life of South West College with the long-awaited opening of our new Erne Campus here in Enniskillen. Since the public health restrictions have been relaxed significantly over recent months we have been able to welcome more of our local community members through the doors of this fabulous building and the reaction we have had so far has been overwhelmingly positive. It is a testament to the vision of our board of governors and indeed the Department for the Economy who provided the funding for the building that it has achieved such global acclaim and recognition.

Carol added that the Gourmet Dining evening celebrating just a few of those community heroes nominated by their friends, family members and colleagues was a fitting way to say thank you for their efforts and also to mark the closing of another academic year.

Speaking about the Community Hero nominations received, Michelle Rankin, Marketing Manager at South West College commented;

‘When we launched this initiative a few weeks back we weren’t sure what the reaction would be from the community but we have been awestruck by the number of nominations and the stories behind those nominations. It was clear to see the impact that our community heroes are having on the lives of those around them, some of the nominees were suggested multiple times. This evening we are celebrating health care professionals, community pharmacists, sports coaches, community activists, and family members who have truly gone above and beyond the call of duty to support those around them particularly since the on-set of the COVID-19 pandemic.

South West College is privileged to play a central role in the lives of the communities in Enniskillen, Omagh, Dungannon and Cookstown and it is fitting that here at our flagship Erne Campus we can celebrate the achievements and contributions of this group of extraordinary unsung heroes during this very special event.’