Causeway Chronicle

Health and social care workers awarded Council’s highest honour – Freedom of the Borough

Health and social care workers have been granted the Freedom of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, honouring the selfless and high-quality lifesaving care they provide to local patients.

Staff from the Northern and Western Health and Social Care Trusts, as well as representatives from the NI Ambulance Service, gathered at Coleraine Town Hall today for a formal conferral ceremony.

Jennifer Welsh, Chief Executive of the Northern Trust and Neil Guckian OBE, Chief Executive of the Western Trust, were each presented with ceremonial certificates to mark the occasion.

Also in attendance were the Lord-Lieutenant of Co Londonderry, Alison Millar, High Sheriff of Co Londonderry, Linda Steele, and the Chairs of the Northern Trust (Anne O’Reilly) and Western Trust (Dr Tom Frawley CBE).

In October 2023, Council resolved to grant The Freedom of the Borough to health and social care workers “who have and continue to provide selfless, dedicated and high-quality life-saving care to patients and family members in NHS facilities, community settings and households across Causeway Coast and Glens Borough”.

Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens, Councillor Steven Callaghan said: “Today was a momentous occasion as we formally recognised the dedication and resilience shown by health and social care staff, particularly through the most challenging of times over these last few years.

“I, like many others, have seen their work first hand and I think we can all agree that they have been selfless and unwavering in their service to patients in NHS facilities across the Borough.

“The Freedom of the Borough is the highest civic accolade Council can bestow, and this was an opportunity to show our appreciation and heartfelt gratitude for the sacrifice and commitment shown by health and social care workers.

“I was delighted to see such a wide array of roles within the Trusts represented here today, as it highlighted that each member of staff – no matter what job they perform – is crucial in delivering of an effective and resilient healthcare system.”

Reflecting on the significance of the Freedom award, Jennifer Welsh, Chief Executive of the Northern Trust said: “I am immensely proud to be part of our health and social care family, and it is a real privilege to receive this honour on behalf of the Northern Trust.

“This award is for every member of Team North who, regardless of their role or job title, regardless of the uniform they wear or don’t wear; they put the needs of others before their own, providing the highest standards of care in our community.

“Their resilience, commitment and dedication, even in the face of huge challenges, is a constant source of inspiration and admiration for us all. I cannot think of another group of people who are more deserving of this honour. Thank you to Causeway Coast and Glens Council for this very special recognition, it is deeply appreciated.”

Expressing his thanks on behalf of all staff in his organisation, Western Trust Chief Executive Neil Guckian OBE said: “At a time when health and social care staff have come through so much, and are under intense pressure, it is great to have such recognition. Health and social care is a 24 hour, 7 days a week, 365 days a year service and I pay tribute to all staff, in community settings and facilities including hospitals for their dedication and focus on patients and clients.  The compassionate care they deliver, often in the most trying of circumstances, is an inspiration to all.

“I want to place on record the many organisations in both public and voluntary sectors who deliver services in partnership with health and social care. Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has demonstrated today, in a very public and tangible way, that you value health and social care staff in your community and I thank you for this wonderful honour and reception.”

David Jackson, Chief Executive Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Western Trust Chief Executive Neil Guckian OBE, Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Councillor Steven Callaghan QPM; as Jennifer Welsh, Chief Executive of the Northern Trust signs the Register of Honorary Burgesses.

Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Councillor Steven Callaghan QPM and Council’s Chief Executive David Jackson alongside Western Trust Chief Executive Neil Guckian OBE and Jennifer Welsh, Chief Executive of the Northern Trust.

Staff representatives from Northern and Western Health Trusts who have been honoured with the Freedom of the Borough, join Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Councillor Steven Callaghan QPM, Jennifer Welsh, Chief Executive of the Northern Trust, Western Trust Chief Executive Neil Guckian OBE, and David Jackson, Chief Executive Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.

Attendees pictured at the Freedom of the Borough ceremony held in Coleraine Town Hall, as Council bestows this honour on Health and Care Staff.

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David Jackson, Chief Executive Causeway and Glens Borough Council, Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Councillor Steven Callaghan QPM, and Jennifer Welsh, Chief Executive of the Northern Trust, as Western Trust Chief Executive Neil Guckian OBE signs the Register of Honorary Burgesses.

Causeway Chronicle

Causeway Chronicle