President Michael D Higgins takes a stroll on Abbeyleix Bog in Laois. Picture: Alf Harvey
Three Laois organisations are among community groups, sports clubs and organisations from all over Ireland to make it to the finals in the National Lottery Good Causes Awards 2019.
Cuisle Cancer Support, the Abbeyleix Bog Project and Laois Sports Partnership are the three local groups to succeed in the awards which the Lottery says are aimed at honouring the inspiring work and achievements of thousands of projects, clubs and individuals who with the help of National Lottery Good Causes funding have had an extraordinary impact on their local communities.
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. It also offers a wide range of holistic services such as Reflexology, Reiki, Aromatherapy Massage, Craniosacral Therapy and Acupuncture. CCS will be in the Health & Wellness 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
The 36 winning groups will now proceed to the grand final in 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.
National Lottery CEO, Dermot Griffin, congratulated the finalists for reaching this final stage of the awards process.
“We were overwhelmed at the level of entries we received for the National Lottery Good Causes Awards. Now in its second year, we had over 480 applications from every County in Ireland spanning all six categories. Through these Awards we want to show how people, organisations, projects and sports clubs are doing extraordinary things in their local communities. This is work that often goes unrecognized and through these Awards we aim to change that, and also help to highlight to the people of Ireland, the good that their participation and support of the National Lottery is having in local communities across Ireland”
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 for the National Finals of the Good Causes Awards takes place over two days in Athlone on 7th and 8th October. At this stage representatives of each of the 36 finalists will be asked to do a short presentation to the judging panel and respond to any questions from the panel. The judging panel will be joined, at this stage, by Lotto host and RTE Weather Presenter, Nuala Carey.