HARD WORK FÊTED AT AWARDS NIGHT

Bray People - - NEWS - By ES­THER HAYDEN

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.

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