It is that time of year again when community groups and local people are honoured for the contribution at the annual Laois Community Voluntary awards which once again are supported by the Leinster Express.
Last year, 75 nominees were honoured for their contribution to community and voluntary life in County Laois, for their hard work and dedication to making their local area a better place to live.
The Leinster Express honoured GAA President Liam O’Neill with its Person of the Year award in 2013 while Maura O’Gorman from Clonaslee was the Forum’s Unsung Hero.
The overall awards honour people and groups through sports, the arts, social/community services, the environment, heritage and through developing its youth; all going towards fostering togetherness and a sense of community in our county.
As was the case last year the awards are also supported by Laois County Council and Laois Sports Partnership. Winners and those shortlisted will be invited to a gala ceremony in the Portlaoise Heritage Hotel on Wednesday, November 27 where the Laois Person of the Year will also be honoured and the Unsung Hero announced.
The role of Laois Community Forum is primarily to promote participation by the community & voluntary sector in the decisions that are made and affect the entire county and its people.
The Forum is a platform for community groups to link with one another across the county and also to be involved in the development of our county, economically, socially and culturally, through being represented at county level.
The Forum takes part in development of policies and plans locally, having a seat on the County Development Board and on other local development organisations such as Laois Partnership Company, Laois Sports Partnership, Laois Heritage Forum and Laois Tourism.
The Forum is also there to try to create links within community sector, by holding events of a common theme which may affect similar groups across the county, such as information sessions on charities legislation, networking days for older people, electoral area public meetings, where we meet and talk to community groups from all over the county.
It also also try to promote the activities of community groups, through our website www.laoiscommunityforum.ie and in other ways.
We are here to assist community groups by promoting the availability of services to them and answering any queries. We’re also here to help capacity build new groups, through advice or information, pointing them in the right direction of what’s available to them.