Offaly community and voluntary groups honoured at Cathaoirleach’s Awards

Offaly County Council hosted a Celebration Ceremony for the Cathaoirleach’s Community Fund on Thursday, October 6 in Áras an Chontae. The Ceremony also marked the European Year of the Volunteer.

Offaly County Council hosted a Celebration Ceremony for the Cathaoirleach’s Community Fund on Thursday, October 6 in Áras an Chontae. The Ceremony also marked the European Year of the Volunteer.

It was attended by approximately 90 volunteers from community and voluntary groups from all across the county. Cathaoirleach of Offaly County Council, Cllr Danny Owens, presented the volunteers with their awards and thanked them for all their efforts and for the wonderful work they are doing on a voluntary basis to make a difference for people living in their communities.

Speaking at the ceremony Cllr Owens stated “more than ever it is important to recognise and support the exceptional work that groups and individual volunteers are carrying out across the county. We hope that these funds will go some way towards helping groups with the good work they are doing”.

2011 has been designated the European Year of the Volunteer by the European Union. The two key messages are to celebrate volunteers for their efforts – a Thank You approach and also to empower new volunteers, the You Can – approach. The Cathaoirleach’s Fund in 2011 aims to support voluntary groups to continue their work in communities around Offaly and to encourage new groups and individuals to get involved.

Groups applied for the fund under six categories: Social Inclusion; Mental Health; Disability and Carers; Older Persons Groups; Minority Groups; and Youth Social Projects. There was a huge number of applicants for the funds and the diversity of projects that were applied for is an indication of the vast range of voluntary activity that goes on in the County.

A presentation was given by Mary Brady, Co-ordinator of Offaly Volunteer Centre, on the work of the centre and how it is working to support the voluntary sector in Offaly. Attendees on the night also enjoyed the sounds of Rahan Comhaltas Group which added to celebratory atmosphere.

The Cathaoirleach’s Community Fund gives Offaly County Council the opportunity to recognise and value the work of volunteers in Offaly and the contribution they make to quality of life in their localities.

To view the list of recipients of the Fund please see www.offaly.ie.

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