HARD WORK FÊTED AT AWARDS NIGHT
OVER 230 local groups and organisations were honoured on Monday evening at the Community Grants Awards.
Held in the Arklow Bay the recipients came from all corners of Wicklow to receive their awards.
Addressing the crowd Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council, Cllr John Ryan, said that a broad range of community activities in Wicklow were represented at the awards.
He said that ‘as part of its ongoing commitment to Local Community Development throughout the county Wicklow County Council has recently allocated in excess of €570,000 to over 440 different groups organisations and individuals under it various grant schemes.
‘Wicklow County Council’s Awards Scheme covers a wide range of activities to ensure that all forms of voluntary effort in the county are recognised. This includes general community activities like Tidy Towns, scouting associations, first responders, women’s groups, men’s shed groups, active retirement, and those running community centres. Then there are those groups who focus specifically on those most at risk of being marginalised in society such as anti-racism initiatives and vulnerable young people. We also include sporting and recreation activities.
‘Looking at the diversity of awards it is clear that there is a vibrant civil society here in the county. I recognise the ongoing effort required to support this voluntary activity across Co. Wicklow as I come across it daily in my role as a councillor. I have seen that in every community there are ordinary people doing extraordinary things. They work in the background and help to keep organisations, projects and events happening.
‘It is clear that we have a thriving volunteer effort in our country.’
Chief Executive of Wicklow County Council Bryan Doyle said that the evening was ‘a unique opportunity to recognise and support the contribution made by a wide variety of groups from all corners of the county. I have to say that I am always humbled on occasions such as these as I learn about the contributions that people make on a daily basis to service of Co. Wicklow.
Together we need to utilise all of our creativity and our innovation to develop more sustainable communities.’
Myles Smith from Avoca Courthouse, Margaret Kelly from East Wicklow Youth Service, Ellen Nolan from Arklow Springboard and Sammy Stewart, Avoca Tidy Towns, with Minister Andrew Doyle.
Deirdre O’Sullivan and Rachel Boyd from Wicklow Youth Mental Health, Cllr Irene Winters, Fiona Downes from Wicklow CFR and Pascal Burke, Taste of Wicklow and Sailfest.
Fiona Gammell from Traveller Animal Welfare, Mark and Ethan Snell from Rathnew AFC and Cllr John Snell.
Margaret Byrne from Purple House with Jim O’Brien from Bray Travellers Community Group.
Phil Glynn and Jenny Balfe, Glenealy Tidy Towns.