A food charity in Belfast has been named as the winner of Virgin Media’s ‘Local Legends’ competition in Northern Ireland by a prestigious judging panel for their selfless efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Lifehub NI, which was set up in 2017 and sources and delivers fresh food parcels to those in need, was nominated for Virgin Media’s Local Legends competition which recognises those who have made a significant contribution to their community over the past year.
The winners of Virgin Media’s Local Legends competition, which launched to celebrate the switch-on of gigabit broadband services in Northern Ireland, are awarded a tech makeover to the tune of £10,000 including Gig1 broadband.
Over the past year, Lifehub NI has delivered food packages to thousands of families and individuals including elderly, homeless and unemployed people. In the process, Edmund Aruofor, who heads up the charity, has clocked up 14,000 miles on average per year on the road as he works around the clock to deliver vital services across the country.
Edmund said: “We are determined to fight food poverty and believe that a key part of what we do is ensuring people eat nutritious food. We strive to collect food which would otherwise have gone to landfill so we are helping people as well as the planet.”
The charity was voted the winner for Northern Ireland by a prestigious judging panel made up of Hannah Ingram-Moore, the daughter of the late Captain Sir Tom Moore; TV presenter and children’s author, Konnie Huq; Roseann Kelly (OBE), Chief Executive, Women in Business; Nicola McCleery, Head of Transaction Banking, Danske Bank; and Seamus McCorry, Northern Ireland Regional Director at Virgin Media.
Konnie Huq, a member of Virgin Media’s Local Legends judging panel, said: “We were inundated with nominations for Virgin Media’s Local Legends campaign in Northern Ireland with so many fantastic and heart-warming tales of community spirit. It was a tough decision but LifeHub NI were just too hard to ignore with their daily efforts and long hours to provide and deliver hundreds of food parcels to people that need it most. A huge congratulations to Edmund and his team”
Hannah Ingram-Moore, member of Virgin Media’s Local Legends judging panel, added: “LifeHub NI works tirelessly in their community to deliver food parcels to those that need it most and are worthy winners of Virgin Media’s Local Legends prize in Northern Ireland. Their outstanding dedication to their cause is admirable and we wish them all the best in the future as part of their vital work in their community.”
Commenting on the award, Edmund said: “I was surprised and delighted that the work of LifeHub NI had been recognised. This sort of recognition allows us to highlight the work that we do in the community. Thousands of people on the edges of society are living in food poverty and cannot afford nutritious food. The need was here before the pandemic and, sadly, will be here long after. We intend to continue to help meet it in any way that we can.”
All of the prizes and hyperfast gigabit broadband will be put to use at the charities’ base in Belfast.
Edmund added: “The prizes will really help us take our operations and administration to a new level, as well as to branch out into other community services.”
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected so many people in different ways and Edmund – as well as Lifehub NI – is calling on people to keep an eye on those around them who may need a helping hand.
Edmund concluded: “Look out for those who are less fortunate. Even the smallest act of kindness or support can have an enormously positive impact on people’s emotional wellbeing and make a real difference to their lives.”