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Best of West down to those vital votes

TEAMWORK: Ortus CEO Seamus O'Prey with Jacqueline O'Donnell, Andersonstown News, and Sean Toal, Ortus Property and Facilities Manager TEAMWORK: Ortus CEO Seamus O'Prey with Jacqueline O'Donnell, Andersonstown News, and Sean Toal, Ortus Property and Facilities Manager
By Staff Reporter

WITH a jaw-dropping 71,000-plus nominations so far, we are now down to the final shortlist of our Best of the West awards. This is where it gets serious – your nominee needs you now more than ever. Just because you’ve nominated your favourites doesn’t mean they’re home and hosed – it’s all down to the votes now!

If your favourite has made it through to the final then it’s up to you to keep voting for them to ensure their success on the big night. You can vote by text, online or through the pages of the Andersonstown News.

And it’s not just the finalists and the staff at the Andersonstown News who are getting excited as the big night approaches. One of the event’s main sponsors is also looking forward to the glittering awards night in the Devenish.

The Ortus Group are thrilled to be sponsoring the hugely popular Best of the West 2019, which showcases some of the best businesses, services and people in West Belfast.

The Ortus Group is dedicated to making positive impact on areas of social and economic deprivation in the north. This is achieved through services offered, including programmes to assist people in seeking employment by setting up businesses and through social giving and investment in the local community. The Group is made up of three main strands: Business Services, Property Services and Language Services (FLEX).

Today, Ortus is the largest enterprise agency in the north and, through a range of innovative programmes, has successfully assisted hundreds of SMEs. Consisting of five enterprises and two hubs, all profits are invested back into the group for social regeneration purposes and the group receives no external funding. They really are investing in the West and that is why we in turn are delighted to have them with us. Their most recent investment is in their new social enterprise, Roar and Explore, a children’s indoor play activity centre at the Dairy Farm Shopping Centre. The Ortus Group is led by Seamus O’Prey, who has over 20 years experience in supporting, leading and managing social enterprises. A director and chairman of a number of boards, Seamus is highly regarded in the industry as a strategic leader whose valuable input has seen the success of many businesses within the local economy.

Speaking about Best of the West, Seamus said: “We are delighted to be involved again in this year’s BOTW again. As an organisation which helps people set up and grow their business it’s natural that we’d want to sponsor and support an initiative that showcases the Best of the West. It’s a great opportunity for us to highlight the strength of small businesses in our community and encourage people to buy and shop locally.”

So now its over to you, the public, and here is what you need to do: Post or leave your votes into our office at 2 Hannahstown Hill. From Thursday, March 14 at 10am online voting opens at (you are limited to one vote per device every 24 hours and an online vote counts as one vote) or through our paper (remember each paper vote is worth two votes) or via text where each text is worth three votes (see page 44 on how to text vote).

Deadline for all votes is Friday, April 5 at noon with a big night of celebration to follow on Saturday, April 13 in the Devenish at our ‘BestFest’ where we will celebrate all of our winners and runners-up in a gala event hosted by – who else? – Barra Best. Thanks to sponsors Translink (Premier Partner), Kennedy Centre, MCK Property, Specsavers Park Centre, The Ortus Group, The Hair Lounge, Asda Westwood and Huhtamaki.

You can vote for your favourite Best of the West nominees at

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