Two Laois community projects picked up top national awards and €10,000 each at the 2019 National Lottery Good Causes Awards.
The Abbeyleix Bog Project won the Heritage category, while the Cuisle Cancer Support Centre won the Health & Wellbeing award.
There were just seven awards given in all, putting Laois well and truly on the national map for community effort.
Both the Laois organisations picked up their respective awards at the gala National Lottery Good Causes Awards, held in the Clayton Ballsbridge Hotel in Dublin on Saturday night November 2 and both won cash prizes of €10,000 towards their incredible work they carry out in Laois.
The Abbeyleix Bog Project is a voluntary and community-led, multi-stakeholder conservation project involving a natural heritage area of 200 hectares. The site consists of various habitats: raised bog, degraded raised bog, mineral fen, wet woodlands, mixed woodlands, and orchid-rich grassland. National Lottery funding has facilitated the organisation to reach more children from all backgrounds and to engage with different communities of children. Good Causes funding has also enabled them to make crucial connections and develop important partnerships and funding opportunities with other agencies and organisations
Members of the group picked up the award including Chris Uys. They were presented the Heritage award by CEO of the Heritage Council of Ireland, Virginia Teehan.
Members of the Portlaoise-based Cuisle Cancer Support Centre, including Stella Moran, Cuisle’s Director of Services were presented with the Health & Wellbeing Award by health and fitness advocate, personal trainer and broadcaster Karl Henry.
The Centre was founded in 2004 and provides vital services to cancer patients and their families. Such services consist include counselling at community level, manual lymph drainage and a wide range of holistic services such as Reflexology, Reiki, Aromatherapy Massage, Craniosacral Therapy and Acupuncture.
The National Lottery Good Causes Awards honour the inspiring work and achievements of thousands of projects, clubs and individuals from all over Ireland who, with the help of National Lottery Good Causes funding, have had an extraordinary impact on their local communities.
36 finalists from all over Ireland gathered for a glittering awards dinner which was hosted by broadcaster and journalist, Grainne Seoige with support from social media influencer and presenter, James Patrice.
Andrew Algeo, CEO of the National Lottery said: “I would like to congratulate both the Abbeyleix Bog Project and Cuisle Cancer Support and each of our other five category winners who make an incredible difference to the lives of many in their communities. These are just a few of the 4,000 great causes that are improve life in Ireland and which are funded each year by National Lottery players. It’s a real motivator and inspiration for all of us at the National Lottery to see that funding at work. ”
Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan T.D., who presented the National Lottery Good Cause of the Year on the night, said: “Community is at the heart of all we do in Ireland and the inspiring National Lottery Good Causes Awards finalists have excelled in their use of Good Causes funds to benefit their localities and the wider society. Good Causes funding has helped us build a better Ireland and has given communities opportunities they would not have had otherwise. “
The six category winners received €10,000 each, whilst the overall Good Cause of the Year, Liquid Therapy, received an additional €25,000.
The National Lottery Good Cause Awards winners 2019 are:
National Lottery Good Cause of the Year and winner of Sport & Recreation Category: Liquid Therapy
Community: Social Action Group Rathmore
Arts & Culture: Kids Own Publishing Partnership
Heritage: Abbeyleix Bog Project
Youth: YoYo Youth Café
Health & Wellbeing: Cuisle Cancer Support Centre
Irish Language: Fáilte ar Líne (DCU)