Offaly group shortlisted for National Lottery Good Causes Awards

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Offaly group shortlisted for National Lottery Good Causes Awards

Offaly winning last year with the North Offaly Community Development Network

The Offaly-based Shannonbridge Community Services Group has beaten off stiff competition to be named amongst the 36 community groups, sports clubs and organisations from all over Ireland announced as regional winners and finalists in the National Lottery Good Causes Awards 2019.

Shannonbridge Community Services Group will contest the Community category in the Good Causes Awards final.

The Awards are aimed at honouring the inspiring work and achievements of thousands of projects, clubs and individuals from all over Ireland who with the help of National Lottery Good Causes funding have had an extraordinary impact on their local communities. Nearly 30 cent in every €1 spent on National Lottery games goes back to Good Causes all over the country.

Shannonbridge Community Services Group was established in 2003 to seek to improve access to services for people living in the area who would be socially isolated or marginalised while trying to invigorate the quaint village of Shannonbridge.

Using National Lottery funding the group were able to open a facility for the provision of supports and services which is now very much at the heart of the community. It also enabled the group to expand their services and meet the ever-changing needs of a small rural community with an ageing population.

The National Lottery Good Causes Community award 2018, for which Shannonbridge is up for this year, was won by an Offaly group last year – the North Offaly Community Development Network won a prize of €10,000 in November.

The 36 winning groups will now proceed to the grand final in six categories: Sport, Health & Wellbeing, Heritage, Arts & Culture, Community and Youth. A seventh category, Irish Language, will have a special award to be announced on the night at the Awards final, in recognition of outstanding work done in the promotion of the Irish Language.

National Lottery CEO, Dermot Griffin, today congratulated the 36 finalists for reaching this final stage of the awards process.

He said: “We were overwhelmed at the level of entries we received for the National Lottery Good Causes Awards. Now in its second year, we had over 480 applications from every County in Ireland spanning all six categories. Through these Awards, we want to show how people, organisations, projects and sports clubs are doing extraordinary things in their local communities."

"This is work that often goes unrecognized and through these Awards we aim to change that, and also help to highlight to the people of Ireland, the good that their participation and support of the National Lottery is having in local communities across Ireland”

Each national category winner will receive €10,000 while the overall Good Cause of the Year will get an additional €25,000 on top of this. The winners will be announced at a Gala Awards event in the Clayton Burlington Hotel in Dublin on Saturday 2nd November.

Speaking on selecting the winners, broadcaster, publisher and businesswoman, Norah Casey, who is chair of the awards judging panel, said: “I have been blown away by the standard of the entries for the Good Causes Awards and it really is a privilege to be involved."

"It was such a tough job but we have our final 36 Good Causes from an original pool of over 480 entries. It is humbling to learn of some of this inspiring work that is going on around Ireland and I am looking forward to meeting our finalists this October. They truly are ordinary people doing extraordinary things.”

The judging for the National Finals of the Good Causes Awards takes place over two days in Athlone on 7th and 8th October. At this stage representatives of each of the 36 finalists will be asked to do a short presentation to the judging panel and respond to any questions from the panel. The judging panel will be joined, at this stage, by Lotto host and RTE Weather Presenter, Nuala Carey.

More information on the finalists and the National Lottery Good Causes Awards can be found at www.lottery.ie/goodcausesawards