The South Belfast organisation was recently invited to the gala event in Co Wexford where they scooped the top prize in the category for populations of 1,000 and above.

Organised by Cooperation Ireland, the awards recognise outstanding community work, and judges praised the Donegall Pass team for reaching out to vulnerable sections of their neighbourhood through the provision of training and education.

Speaking to the South Belfast News, the Forum’s Development Manager Elaine Mansfield explained: “We were nominated through Belfast City Council due to our education and training programmes and as part of the process we were visited by judges who saw for themselves first hand what we do.

“It’s a tough competition, with groups from all over Ireland north and south represented, and we are elated that we were honoured.”

Belfast Mayor Niall Ó Donghaille also congratulated the local team, adding: “This is an indication of the excellent work being carried out by local community groups and shows that once again Belfast can hold its own against strong competition.

“These projects are partnerships between statutory agencies and community representatives many of whom give freely of their time.”