1352. Gail Redmond
Gail Redmond, from County Down, founded 'Via Wings' to help vulnerable people in the region facing social isolation or in need of support, using her multi-purpose community hub in Dromore to provide skills training for young adults with learning disabilities, community food projects and social groups to tackle loneliness.
Gail was inspired through her faith and community work at her local church to set up the charity in 2009. ‘Via Wings’ has continued to grow, establishing their community hub in a disused pub which includes their social enterprise, the ‘Hope and Soul Shop’ and the ‘Olive Branch Cafe’, which helps to fund their outreach work.
In a personal letter to Gail, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I am lost in admiration for remarkable people like yourself who freely give up your time to improve the lives of others.
“Your community hub exemplifies the best of society – providing a place where people can come together, learn skills, share meals and feel part of the community they live in.”
“At ‘Via Wings’, our aim has always been to be a Beacon of Light to light up the dark skies of Dromore, bringing hope to our community. This award is affirmation of what we do best, meeting needs, changing