18 May 2022

Limerick woman in perfect harmony with UK award

Limerick woman in perfect harmony with award

She's Luton's best!: Sandra Hayes picks up her prize from host and tennis star Andrew Castle, Rev Lloyd Denny, Luton in Harmony and Catriona Lewis, Active Luton, award sponsors

A TALENTED table tennis player from Limerick has been served up with an award by the English town she has made home.

Sandra Hayes, who is originally from Raheen, and also lived in Sexton Street, won the Luton in Harmony award at the Luton's Best community awards ceremony.

These recognise the great work which people do in the town, which lies just north of London. 

Although Sandra works for the town's borough council, she spends a huge portion of her time bringing Luton's communities together.

In particular, a former table tennis international player, she helps youngsters develop their skills in the game.

And her efforts have been recognised after she won the award through popular vote.

Her proud nephew Andy O'Gorman said: "Wherever she goes, there has always been this reaction to her work in the community. She really is someone who puts her heart and soul into it. She's never off the clock. She is always available to people to help and volunteer if they need it."

The organisers of the competition, Luton's Best, a consortium of local business and community groups, said Sandra is "instrumental" in bringing people together.

"Sandra has been an advocate in reinforcing the message that we will challenge violent extremist ideology, wherever it comes from, and unite the town in supporting, giving voice to, and celebrating our diversity. Her actions are loud and clear, and she uses every chance to highlight the positive aspects of Luton. She not only always promotes the town but challenges negativity at all levels when it comes creating a cohesive town," they added.

Sandra attended Presentation School and secured a degree in European Studies from the University of Limerick (UL).

Nominated in the top 60 all-time graduates of the college, she is also the first female holder of the sports hall of fame award.

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