Four Waterford groups have beaten stiff competition to be announced as finalists and South Region winners in the first ever National Lottery Good Causes Awards.
The Awards are aimed at honouring the inspiring work and achievements of thousands of projects, clubs and individuals all over Ireland with the help of Good Causes funding. Nearly 30 cent in every euro spent on National Lottery games goes back to Good Causes.
The four Waterford Groups has come out tops in the South Region in the Arts; Sport; Community and Youth categories, and now proceeds to the Awards finals at a Gala Dinner in Dublin on November 3.
A total of 36 groups from all over Ireland go forward now to the final in six categories – Sport, Health & Wellbeing; Arts & Culture; Heritage; Community and Youth.
Each national category winner will receive €10,000 while the overall Good Cause of the Year will get another €25,000 on top of this. The winners will be announced at a televised gala dinner in Dublin on November 3.
The Waterford winners from the South Region Final are:
Sport: Park Rangers AFC
One of the largest rural clubs in Ireland Park Rangers AFC provides football training to 355 male and female members aged from two years upwards. Good Causes funding supported providing facilities for wheelchair users including parking spaces, wheel chair accessible toilets and showers and changing facility and ramps to the clubhouse.
Arts & Culture: Waterford Healing Trust
Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT) is bringing arts experiences to the bedsides of patients at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) and other healthcare settings, including a live music programme on the wards and art sessions. Good Causes funding helped fund Iontas Arts, a mental health programme which supports the recovery and rehabilitation of mental health service users.
Community: Waterford Intellectual Disability Association
Waterford Intellectual Disability Association (WIDA) is a community based voluntary provider of services for adults and children with an intellectual disability and/or autism in Waterford City and County. Good Causes funding has made a significant impact to the upkeep and expansion of services within WIDA.
Youth: Mount Sion Choir
Mount Sion Choir is a talented group based in a small DEIS school in the heart of Waterford City which did not have music or art as subjects. Good Causes funding helped get the choir up and running and hire a guitar teacher to teach the students.
National Lottery CEO, Dermot Griffin, today congratulated the Waterford winner on coming through the Regional stage of the competition and wished them the best of luck for the finals.
He said: “We were overwhelmed at the level of entries we received for our first National Lottery Good Causes Awards. We had over 500 applications from every County in Ireland in all categories. Through these Awards we want to show how people, organisations, projects and sports clubs are doing extraordinary things in their communities. This is work that often goes unrecognised.”
Chair of the judging panel, businessman and broadcaster, Bobby Kerr, said: “I have been blown away by the standard of the entries for these very important awards. As somebody who travels regularly all over Ireland for my work I am aware of the impact of National Lottery Good Causes funding. It has been an honour to have learned about the inspiring work that is going on around Ireland through the judging process.”