Health and Social Care Staff receive freedom of Ards and North Down

07/09/2018

Ards and North Down Borough Council awarded its highest honour - the Freedom of the Borough - to Health and Social Care Staff at a formal conferment ceremony in the Walled Garden Bangor Castle on Saturday 1 September.

The event was attended by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant, Dr Robert Logan, members of the Council and health care guests and officiated by the Mayor of Ards and North Down, Cllr Richard Smart, will paid tribute to the huge number of staff working within the Health and Social Care Trust who reside in the Borough – from surgeons to doctors, nurses to clinicians, porters to support staff, cleaners to administrators. 

It was the first time the Freedom of the Borough has been awarded since Ards and North Down Borough Council was established in 2015 and only the 34th occasion since the first conferral in the area, 88 years ago in 1930. It was unanimously agreed to confer the award in March 2018.

Cllr Richard Smart, Mayor of Ards and North Down, said: “The Freedom of the Borough is the highest honour which the Council can bestow and I cannot think of more deserving recipients than Health and Social Care Staff, nor a better time to confer it, 2018 being the 70th anniversary of the NHS.

The service provided touches the lives of each and every resident in our Borough; and we regularly hear how the care provided; both physical and emotional; was truly excellent. You are our ‘everyday heroes’. 

“I hope this honour goes some way to publicly recognise the life-saving and enriching care that the 12,500+ health care staff in Ards and North Down deliver to residents every day.”

Hugh McCaughey, Chief Executive, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust will officially receive the award on behalf of health and social care staff.  He said: “On behalf of all health and social care staff working across all organisations, I would like to thank the council for this great honour.  It is particularly fitting in this 70th year of the National Health Service that HSC staff have been chosen to be the first recipient in the newly formed council’s Book of the Burgesses.  Their dedication and commitment will be recognised for perpetuity in the borough of Ards and North Down.”

Esther Hylands, Community Midwifery Team Leader in Ards and North Down commented “It was an honour to attend such a prestigious event. Being a midwife often means working long hours, is a huge responsibility and is very demanding. The maternity services team work 24 hours a day, seven day week and 365 days a year, but bringing a new life into the world is always a special moment. It is wonderful for both myself and my team to have our work recognised in this way and I feel extremely privileged to have been part of the celebrations”

As part of the ceremony a special reading of a poem penned about the NHS by James Keenan, Emergency Department Practitioner from the Ulster Hospital took place. This was framed and presented to the Council as a gift from the Health and Social Care Trust.

Over 150 guests attended the ceremony which took place in the beautiful surroundings of the Walled Garden. Guests and dignitaries were presented with a sapling oak tree from the Woodland Trust which were to be planted to remind them of the historic event for years to come.

Pictured: The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Cllr Richard Smart and Hugh McCaughey, Chief Executive, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust following the conferment of the Freedom of the Borough to Health and Social Care Staff across Ards and North Down.

Pictured: Hugh McCaughey, Chief Executive, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, Deputy Lieutenant, Dr Robert Logan, The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Cllr Richard Smart and Mr Stephen Reid, Chief Executive, Ards and North Down Borough Council, following the conferment of the Freedom of the Borough to Health and Social Care Staff across Ards and North Down.

Pictured: Staff from the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, Colin Johnston and Lyndsay Harper enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the Walled Garden, Bangor Castle at the recent Freedom of the Borough conferment ceremony held on Saturday 1 September.

Pictured: The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Cllr Richard Smart is pictured alongside Esther Hylands, Community Midwifery Team Leader at the recent Freedom of the Borough conferment ceremony held in the Walled Garden, Bangor Castle on Saturday 1 September.