Banbridge woman Sheila Smyth is among 38 winning Lidl Community Works Local Heroes nominated by Lidl Northern Ireland customers to be acknowledged for their hard work and dedication to causes they are passionate about in their local area.
Sheila founded the Recovery Café in Dromore, a safe place for recovering addicts to meet and socialise while providing them with an opportunity to rebuild their lives.
Sheila works tirelessly to inspire those she works with that change is possible. She is also the director of The Right Key, a social enterprise that helps recovering addicts to write and perform music and poetry, and was the founder of ‘Voice of Recovery’, a choir which was made up of recovering addicts who were undergoing rehab.
Sheila will be honoured at an exclusive gala event on the renowned SS Nomadic in Belfast on December 1 and will enjoy a fabulous meal prepared by celebrity chef and Lidl ambassador Ian Orr.
Each winner and a guest will also be treated to an overnight stay in a top Belfast hotel to celebrate their achievements. One overall winner from the 38 heroes, will be announced on the evening and presented with a year’s free shopping, and two runners up will receive £500 of vouchers each.
After being told she had been selected as a winner, Sheila said: “We work with recovering alcoholics mainly, people who have been through a very difficult time and are trying to establish and rebuild their lives away from alcohol. We give them a social life, and another outlet. The people I work with are so talented and fantastic. As far as we can see, every family in Northern Ireland will experience a problem with alcohol addiction so it’s vital that we break down people’s perceptions of what an alcoholic looks like. It covers every type of person out there, professional people, lonely people, people you know and who look completely normal. The ages range from 20 to 65, so it really can affect anyone.”
Conor Boyle, Director of Lidl NI said, “We received hundreds of nominations so selecting 38 winners was tough. We are thrilled to reach out and acknowledge the well deserving individuals.”