Oliver is a Spirit of NI winner!

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th June 2015 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards at the Culloden Hotel 'Oliver, Max, Charlene and Neil Dickey
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th June 2015 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards at the Culloden Hotel 'Oliver, Max, Charlene and Neil Dickey

What a year it has been for little Oliver Dickey!

On Friday night the Millburn Primary School pupil was named as the Specsavers Overcoming Adversity winner at the glittering Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards at the Culloden Hotel in Holywood.

Oliver was presented with his award by Coleraine woman, and former Millburn pupil Bronagh Waugh, best known for her role in ‘The Fall’ alongside Jamie Dornan.

The awards recognise those who are an inspiration to us, and those who selflessly serve others.

In the past ten months, the little Coleraine boy has shown great determination.

After an operation in America last July, Oliver has been under going intense physio sessions, and has shown great progress, walking unaided for the very first time.

Back in March, Coleraine man Barry White, urged the people of the area to nominate Oliver for a ‘Spirit of Northern Ireland award’ through his blog.

And after being shortlisted, Oliver was joined at the glittering ceremony, attended by celebrities including X Factor judge Louis Walsh, by his mum Charlene, dad Neil and little brother Max, and other proud family members.

The gala ceremony saw Louis Walsh join Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody and stars from Game of Thrones, Emmerdale, Coronation Street and the world of sport at the glittering event on Friday night.

Proud mum Charlene thanked all those who had supported her son in a Facebook post on Saturday morning.

“What an amazing night last night at The Spirit Of Northern Ireland Awards.

Fifteen incredibly inspiring people and emotional stories

“We are so proud of Oliver and how far he has come over the last year.

“For his hard work and determination to be recognised and marked by this award was just the icing on the cake, in the lead up to his one year SDR anniversary.

“From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to everyone who has made this possible.

“The support from day one fundraising, to the continued support on his journey has been incredible.”

Looking to the future, the local mum added.

“It’s really been an amazing year.

“Hopefully this time next year there will be no sticks.

“Oliver will be able to walk completely independent - that would be a dream come true for us all.”

You can watch a one hour special programme on the awards cermoney this Friday night on UTV.

The ‘Spirit of Northern Ireland’ Awards is the only televised ceremony in Northern Ireland.

Tune in at 9pm, and see our local winner Oliver collecting his award.

Wel done Oliver!