Longford Women's Link chief scoops top business award

Jessica Thompson

Reporter:

Jessica Thompson

Email:

jessica.thompson@longfordleader.ie

Louise Lovett

A proud Louise Lovett, CEO of Longford Women's Link, holding the Social Entrepreneur of the Year award she received at a gala in Dublin for the IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year Awards on Monday night.

The hard work of Longford Women's Link was recognised on Monday night as the organisation's CEO, Louise Lovett, was named IMAGE Magazine's Social Entrepreneur of the Year at a gala awards dinner at the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, Dublin 4.

Speaking to the Longford Leader on Tuesday morning, Louise was thrilled with her award but was also quick to point out that the achievement was not just her own, but one for the whole team.

“I’m shocked and delighted in equal measure.

“I’m delighted for Longford Women’s Link , because it’s not just me; it’s an accolade to the whole team, the organisation and the founders who are working quietly within the community,” she said, adding that her Deputy CEO Tara Farrell has also done incredible work within the organisation.

“This kind of work isn’t recognised enough and we were up against heavy hitters but it’s great for Longford and I’m delighted to see something like this happen for the midlands .”

Susan O'Dwyer, Chief Executive of Make-A-Wish Ireland; Aoibheann O'Brien and Iseult Ward, Co-founders and CEOs of Food Cloud; and Mary Doherty, President of Down Syndrome Ireland were just a few of the “heavy hitters” also nominated for the prestigious title.

And, Louise added, there was no single project that earned LWL the award. In fact, it was the overall model of the organisation that caught the keen eye of IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year judges.

“We have a model where we don’t just deal with the initial crisis. We provide support afterwards too,” Louise explained.

“So if a woman comes from a situation of domestic violence, and she has kids with her, it’s important to provide immediate practical help, but what happens after that?

“In Longford Women's Link, we provide that immediate help, but we also provide counselling, and a drop-in service so that she can speak openly, candidly and honestly without exposing the kids to further issues.”

Furthermore, LWL provides a range of education opportunities for women, helping them to find employment and get their lives back on track.

“Longford Women's Link provides women with choices and opportunities,” Louise concluded.

For more information on the full range of services provided by Longford Women's Link, visit www.lwl.ie.