Laois Unsung Hero Award nominees 2018.
Hardworking and dedicated volunteers with community groups, clubs and local organisations have been honoured in Portlaoise for the annual Community & Voluntary Awards.
Laois County Council, in association with Laois Public Participation Network (LPPN) hosted the 9th Annual awards in the Midlands Park Hotel on Tuesday, November 20.
The Leinster Express supported this year's awards as media partner. LaoisSports Partnership and Laois Local Enterprise Office also supported the event.
The awards recognise the valuable contribution made by volunteers at both group and individual level in promoting community and voluntary, social inclusion and environmental sectors in their communities.
A total of 38 groups were nominated across five group categories.
The winners and runners-up were:
Environment - Winner Abbeyleix Bog Project, runner-up Mountrath Youth Theatre
Children and Youth - Winner Seventh Laois Camross Scouts, runner-up Saplings Parents Committee
Arts, Culture and Heritage - Winner Durrow Scarecrow, runner-up Mountrath Development Association
Healthy and Active Community - Winner The Thomas Hayes Trust CLG Teac Tom, runner-up Parkrun Vicarstown and Junior Parkrun
Social Inclusion - Winner Down Syndrome Ireland Laois Branch, runner-up Kiln Lane Committee Mountrath
The final category of Unsung Hero celebrated the great work of individuals across Laois.
The winner was: Carmel O'Connor Irish Wheelchair Association Laois
The judging was carried out by PPN secretariat members from PPN networks outside of Laois PPN.
The Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council John King commented on the extraordinary work that is quietly taking place in Laois. He said all the groups were winners.
“All of you have in common a commitment to make a difference in your community", said Cllr King.
Mr John Mulholland, Laois County Council CEO, said there is huge space for community work.
"The amount of work you do doesn't go unnoticed," he said.
Pat Somers, Leinster Express Editor praised all who were honoured.
“The Leinster Express is delighted to acknowledge the work of local volunteers and communities,” he stated.
Master of Ceremonies on the night was RTÉ’s Justin Treacy, a native of Emo. Music Generation’s Junior Trad Orchestra provided the entertainment on the night.
The Leinster Express will carry extensive coverage next week, online and in Leinster Express Laois Annual 2018 which will be in the shops this month and on sale through Christmas.