The launch of the Laois Community & Voluntary Awards
Thirty-six voluntary groups and 23 unsung heroes make up the running for this year's Laois Community & Voluntary Awards.
The 2019 Awards will take place at the Midlands Park Hotel on Friday night, October 18.
Hosted by Laois County Council in association with Laois PPN, this year also welcomes on board People First Credit Union as sponsors.
This is the 10th anniversary of the awards and, to mark the occasion, a gala dinner with a drinks reception will take place on the night.
The 36 voluntary groups have been nominated across six categories comprising Arts, Culture & Heritage; Healthy & Active Community; Children & Youth; Environment; Social Inclusion; and Age Friendly.
Twenty-three people feature in the Unsung Hero category and the winner will be chosen for their contribution to volunteering in Laois.
The spirit of volunteerism is the dominant theme of the awards which, over the past decade, have aimed to celebrate the incredible contribution made by the community and voluntary sector in Laois.
The importance and impact of volunteering in local communities will be to the forefront on the night.
“The giving of people’s time and effort voluntarily isn’t always easy,” noted the Chief Executive of Laois County Council, John Mulholland.
“The pressures of family life, education and work mean that time is a precious commodity.
“But volunteers make time - time to give to others in such a diverse range of areas, be it fundraising, helping neighbours, or organising local events that encourage visitors or just for the pure enjoyment of the community.
“Each year the Community & Voluntary Awards celebrate the significant role volunteers play in our communities to improve the quality of life of others around them.
“This year marks the 10th anniversary of the awards, and I look forward immensely to welcoming the nominees across various voluntary sectors to our event.
“We are delighted to have People First Credit Union on board as our main sponsors for 2019,” said Mr Mullholland.
Sean Dunne, CEO of People First Credit Union expressed his delight at their involvement as sponsors.
“People First Credit Union are delighted to be associated with the Laois Community & Voluntary awards 2019,” he stated.
“Community and Volunteering are the two key aspects of the success of the Credit Union movement in Ireland and without them the movement wouldn’t exist.
“Credit Unions continue to be governed by a voluntary Board of Directors whom ensure the needs of our local communities are met.
“Thank you to all those whom have worked hard within their communities and volunteered their time and are yet to be acknowledged.
“And congratulations to all those who will receive awards for 2019. Keep up the good work,” said Mr Dunne.
The format of this year's Awards will see a drinks reception for all attendees upon arrival with musical accompanient by Music Generation. Also attending will be the Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan.
The awards ceremony itself will take place after dinner.
It will then be followed by live music.