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Laois community groups in running to win big at National Lottery Good Causes awards

Watch specially commissioned videos of the three groups involved

Leinster Express Reporter

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Leinster Express Reporter

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Laois Sports Partnership, Abbeyleix Bog Project, Cuisle Centre nominated for National Lottery Good Causes Awards

Three Laois community organisations are in the running to win cash awards that could boost their services and activities for local people. 

Representatives from the Cuisle Cancer Support, the Abbeyleix Bog Project and Laois Sports Partnership have presented to the National Lottery Good Causes Awards 2019 judging panel as part of the final process of the competition.

The judging panel, chaired by broadcaster and businesswoman Norah Casey, recently spent two days in Athlone meeting the 36 finalists from all over Ireland, who each received their trophy for being a national finalist.

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. Nearly 30 cent in every €1 spent on National Lottery games goes back to Good Causes all over the country.

The Cuisle Cancer Support 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. CCS will be in the Health & Wellbeing category in the finals.

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. This project will contest the Heritage category in the Good Causes Awards.

Laois Sports Partnership promotes, support and facilitate participation in sport and physical activity for all in Laois. Using National Lottery Good Causes funding they created and the True Transformation project for men which was specifically designed to counteract the negative effects of ageing, obesity and physical inactivity on the physical and metabolic health of men over 40 years of age. This was achieved through specific health education workshops, meals plans and physical activity sessions. Laois Sports Partnership will contest the Sports category.

Attention now turns to the Awards event which takes place next Saturday, November 2.

The awards have six categories: Sport, Health & Wellbeing, Heritage, Arts & Culture, Community and Youth. A seventh category, Irish Language, will have a special award to be announced on the night at the Awards final, in recognition of outstanding work done in the promotion of the Irish Language.

Each national category winner will receive €10,000 while the overall Good Cause of the Year will get an additional €25,000 on top of this. The winners will be announced at a Gala Awards event in the Clayton Burlington Hotel in Dublin on Saturday 2nd November.

The judging panel also included Nuala Carey, Lotto presenter Michael Hayes, Head of Marketing at the National Lottery, Paul Bradley, PR & Corporate Communications Manager of the National Lottery, Jennifer Crowe, CSR manager of the National Lottery and Seamus Griffin, CEO of the Griffin Retail Group and representing the National Lottery Retail Council. The judging took place in the Hodson Bay Hotel.

Awards chairman Norah Casey said the judging panel had an incredibly hard job deciding on the winners for the awards and said: “We were blown away by the 36 presentations. Each of the groups we met are doing amazing work in their communities and were all winners in their own rights. The work that is being done all over Ireland with the help of National Lottery Good Causes funding is truly humbling and outstanding. I wish the representatives from all 36 organisations all the best of luck on the night” 

More information on the finalists and the National Lottery Good Causes Awards can be found at www.lottery.ie/ goodcausesawards.

Nearly 30 cent in every €1 spent on National Lottery games goes back to Good Causes in the areas of sport, youth, health, welfare, education, arts, heritage and the Irish Language. In total more than €5.4 Billion has been raised for Good Causes since the National Lottery was established 32 years ago. In 2018 alone, more than €228 million was raised; the equivalent of €620,000 a day in support for local Good Causes in communities across Ireland.