Four inspiring Waterford groups have been put through their paces as part of the judging for the finals of the inaugural National Lottery Good Causes Awards which take place in Dublin on Saturday, November 3.
The groups beat off stiff competition in various categories to be announced as National Finalists in the Awards which honour the incredible work that is being done in communities all over Ireland thanks to National Lottery Good Causes funding.
The Awards which will be televised on Virgin Media One TV on Sunday November 11th at 9 p.m. and the MC is popular TV presenter Karen Koster. There was great excitement when Virgin Media One visited the groups in the last week to film for the Awards show.
The Waterford contenders 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, wheelchair 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.
The judging panel, chaired by broadcaster and businessman Bobby Kerr, spent two days in Athlone meeting 36 finalists from all over Ireland.
The judging panel also included Lotto presenter, Nuala Carey, National Lottery Head of Marketing Michael Hayes, National Lottery PR & Corporate Communications Manager Miriam Donohoe and Seamus Griffin representing the National Lottery Retail Council. The judging took place in the Hodson Bay Hotel.
Awards chairman Bobby Kerr said the judging panel had an incredibly hard job deciding on the winners for the competition 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.
“We were blown away by the 36 presentations. Each of the groups we met are doing amazing work in their communities and were all winners in their own rights. The work that is being done all over Ireland with the help of Good Causes funding is outstanding.”
National Lottery CEO, Dermot Griffin, congratulated the Waterford groups on coming through the Regional stage of the competition and wished them the best of luck on Awards night.
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 unrecognized.”