Chief Executive of Ashton Community Trust shortlisted twice in forthcoming CO3 2017 Leadership Awards. The local North Belfast man who has headed up Ashton Community Trust for over 20 years has been shortlisted in two categories: Inspiring Leader of the Year and Social Entrepreneurial Leader.

Ashton Community Trust CEOPaul Roberts

Ashton Community Trust Chief Executive Paul Roberts

The CO3 Awards will be presented at a glittering Gala Dinner at La Mon Hotel & Country Club on Thursday 23 February 2017.

Ashton Community Trust is a community based charity working on regeneration through social enterprise in North Belfast. It was set up in 1988 through a share drive by local people. The original centre is owned by 450 shareholders from the local community and the organisation now owns nine other Centres. Ashton Community Trust delivers a wide range of services including: childcare, health, education, training, FabLab and economic development.

It currently employs over 180 people in some of the most deprived wards. It is recognised as a leading local social enterprise with a turnover of over £6m per annum.

Paul Roberts said he was delighted to be shortlisted: “I’m delighted to be shortlisted by CO3 in these categories.  Working to improve the lives of local people is Ashton’s mission and through the work of our departments we are helping to achieve significant and positive change. Ashton’s heart is in the community. To keep on growing, our staff work hard to deliver on targets so that we can keep on growing. A robust asset based approach and sound financial management underpins our corporate strategy. Working collaboratively, sharing best practice and keeping a community development ethos to the forefront guides all of this work. Looking to the future we plan to remain on being sustainable, regenerating where possible, keep jobs and keep on making meaningful change.”

The Inspiring Leader of the Year category is recognition of a person’s ability to inspire others to achieve great things. The nominees will place quality at the heart of everything they do; they are innovative and value their staff, volunteers, beneficiaries and external partners. They recognise the value of developing others and work tirelessly to lead change for the benefit of all.

The Social Entrepreneurial Leader category recognises an enterprising individual.  They will have achieved the highest and most sustained levels of growth as well as financial and impact performance through a culture of innovation, market knowledge, and leadership development. This category is open to a Chief Officer or Senior Manager/Director who has significantly developed the sustainability of the organisation including its impact measurement, commercial activities, income, funding and investment streams to build a strong operational model.