St Mary’s PS Fivemiletown scoops Campaigners’ award

St Mary’s Primary have been recognised for their determination.
The successful campaign to Save St Mary’s Primary School in Fivemiletown from closure has been crowned Best Community Campaign in the recent Sheila McKechnie Awards.
Celebrating the best campaigns and campaigners across the UK, the Awards recognise those who have achieved social change through civic action.
The winners were crowned at a glittering event in central London on Wednesday night, where the finalists gathered to share stories of campaign successes and recognise their many achievements.
Reacting to their win, Chair of the Board of Governors Mairaid Kelly said: “This Award is for everyone who supported our campaign to protect our small rural school from closure.
“To the people of Fivemiletown and beyond, and to the children and their families who protested with us, wrote letters and collected signatures on petitions, please know that this Award is for you all.”
Mairaid went on to thank the MLA’s who helped the school in their fight.
“It’s for our local politicians, including Mid Ulster and Fermanagh and Omagh Councils, but in particular Colm Gildernew MLA and Deborah Erskine MLA who worked tirelessly in support of our campaign,” she said.
“We have shown what a truly cross-community campaign can achieve, and how the rights of children in rural areas to access services are every bit as important as those in other places.
“We hope this Award gives hope to many others out there who are fighting to protect services that matter to them, and in those difficult times when they doubt whether it will all be worthwhile, please remember that a wee group of parents in Fivemiletown just won a UK-wide award for their campaign, so you can do it too.”
Congratulating them on their success, Colm Gildernew MLA said: “This is a phenomenal achievement and thoroughly deserved recognition for the campaign to save St Mary’s in Fivemiletown.
“I was delighted to have spoken in the Assembly about their nomination, I also want to recognise the ongoing efforts of the school to support others in similar circumstances, and I am delighted to continue to work with them to increase the recognition of the value of small rural schools.”

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