Lough Ree Lanesboro Angling Hub were winners of the Good Cause of the Year Award at the National Lottery Good Causes Awards. Alan Broderick (with trophy) and other club members celebrate
St Mary’s National School, Newtowncashel, Cian’s Kennels CLG, Longford Swimming Club and Convent Day Care Centre CLG, Ballymahon are the four Longford beneficiaries announced as county winners in the National Lottery Good Causes Awards 2022.
The awards were created to honour and showcase the inspiring work being carried out by thousands of projects, clubs and individuals in their local communities across Ireland thanks to National Lottery Good Causes funding. Nearly 30 cent of every euro spent on National Lottery games goes back to Good Causes all over the country.
The overall 2021 winners were the Lough Ree Angling Hub.
Announcing the County winners, National Lottery CEO, Andrew Algeo, said: “The stories and insights that we read in this year’s entries truly exemplified the positive impact that the groups, sports clubs and organisations who receive National Lottery funding, are having in towns and villages all over Ireland. Celebrating the inspirational work being carried out by these extraordinary beneficiaries and recognising the effect that they have on their communities is exactly what the Good Causes Awards are all about.”
The National Lottery CEO went on to describe how significantly more individuals, charities, groups, projects and organisations all over Ireland could benefit from Good Causes funding if a ban on lottery betting were to be introduced.
“Our ambition is to do more for communities all over Ireland and we hope that soon, this will become a reality. If the practice of betting on lottery games were to be finally banned in Ireland, as it is in most EU countries, our research shows that National Lottery sales would increase by at least €228 million which would result in approximately €63 million in additional funding for the Good Causes fund which would have a huge impact on communities all over Ireland. Last year, Benefacts established that 34% of all charitable giving in Ireland in 2021 was attributable via the National Lottery. We believe that even more charitable and community groups would directly benefit if a ban on lottery betting was put in place.”
The Longford winners are:
St Mary’s National School – Arts & Culture
St Mary's is a rural primary school in Co Longford which is situated in the beautiful village of Newtowncashel on the banks of Lough Ree and the River Shannon. Recently, the school engaged with the Arts Council to secure Good Causes funding to encourage more creativity in the classroom and within the wider local community through a unique learning programme. The school building has become a focal point for the entire community which encourages children, parents, grandparents and local groups to visit the school and to get involved with the creative learning that is taking place.
Cian’s Kennels CLG – Health & Wellbeing
Cian’s Kennels is a charitable organisation which allows children who are in hospital for extended periods to have access to their family pets. The charity was created in memory of Cian Neary who sadly passed away after being diagnosed with hepatosplenic T-Cell Lymphoma. During his treatment at the Children's Hospital in Crumlin, the Neary family set about placing Cian's beloved dog, Cooper, in a nearby kennel which allowed the two to meet every single day. Time spent with Cooper, exercising & training him became the highlight of Cian's days at home in between hospital stays and treatments.
With thanks to funding through the HSE National Lottery scheme, Cian's Kennels now provides kenneling, veterinary checks, transport and other expenses so that no costs arise for the families involved. Their services support the emotional wellbeing of children with life-limiting and serious illnesses.
Longford Swimming Club – Sport
Longford Swimming Club is one of the most active community groups in the area and provides a range of activities for all ages while specifically assisting members with greater needs with physical and intellectual disabilities. Despite the size and limited resources of this community group, two local swimmers from the club competed at the most recent Olympic Games in Tokyo. Darragh Greene and Patrick Flanagan both competed and represented Ireland in Tokyo 2020 and the Paralympics respectively. This was an historic occasion for the club, their communities and of course for Co Longford.
Convent Day Care Centre CLG – Community
The mission of the Convent Day Care Centre in Longford is to help improve the quality of the life of older people in Ballymahon and the surrounding Longford, Westmeath and Roscommon areas. Through their work and with the support of HSE National Lottery funding, they provide supports to enable the elderly to live independently in their own homes and in their own community. They do this by providing a range of personal, social and health supports as well as a freshly cooked daily meal to all who attend the Centre.
Shawbrook Forest Festival 2022 is an exciting event that brings to life an amazing and diverse programme of performances.
Entrepreneur, Fashion Designer and Businesswoman, Sonya Lennon, who is Chair of this year’s judging panel, spoke about the tough job that the panel faced in narrowing down the entries: “This is my first year involved in the Good Causes Awards and it’s really opened my eyes to the crucial work that so many extraordinary groups and individuals carry out within their communities each and every day. It was no easy feat to select our 118 county winners out of the hundreds of entries that we received as every application had an inspiring story. A big congratulations to all who have made it to the next round – we are one step closer to the big night now!”
The awards, which culminates in a Gala Awards Dinner in Kildare on Saturday 1st October, has seven main categories: Sport, Health & Wellbeing, Heritage, Arts & Culture, Community, Youth and Irish Language.
The full list of County Winners can be found at www.lottery.ie/good-causes-awards/county-winners
The 118 County Finalists will now compete for a place in the National Finals judging phase next month, after which the 35 National Finalists will be announced.
The total prize fund for the Good Causes Awards is €130,000 and each of the 35 finalists will win €1,000 when they are announced in June. At the awards ceremony in October, each of the seven category winners will receive €10,000 and the overall Good Cause of the Year will take home an additional €25,000.
Nearly 30 cent in every €1 spent on all 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 €6 Billion has been raised for Good Causes since the National Lottery was established 34 years ago. In 2021 alone, €289 million was raised for local Good Causes in communities across Ireland.
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