Three Offaly groups and organisations were announced as county winners in the National Lottery Good Causes Awards 2022.
SCRIPTS Ireland’s Playwriting Festival, Offaly Ladies Gaelic Football Association and Kilcormac Development Association are the three Offaly groups and organisations 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.
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 Offaly winners are:
Scripts Ireland's Playwriting Festival – Arts & Culture
Scripts Ireland's Playwriting Festival provides unique opportunities for aspiring and established playwrights to have their work developed and produced. With thanks to regular Good Causes funding through the Arts Council, the Festival has created a cultural tourism opportunity for the area as people from all over Ireland and abroad have travelled to participate.
Kilcormac Development Association – Community
Kilcormac Development Association provide a wide range of community services that aim to enhance the community both physically and economically, including Kilcormac Meals on Wheels, Kilcormac Community Gym and the Kilcormac Senior Alert Scheme. Through the HSE National Lottery grant scheme, they were able to purchase a meat slicer and a stainless-steel table for further expanding the workspace in the kitchen. These are all valuable tools to have, especially with the huge increase in numbers they have seen in their Kilcormac Meals on Wheels service since the start of the pandemic.
Offaly Ladies Gaelic Football Association - Sport
Offaly Ladies Gaelic Football Association provides support and guidance for the twelve clubs in Offaly. There are also four county teams which bring girls from all over the county together for training sessions and matches with other counties. Good Causes funding through the Sports Capital Programme and Sport Ireland Women in Sport grants, has enabled the Association to engage experts in Strength and Conditioning, Physio and Nutrition and to also provide winter training in gyms, Astro turf pitches and floodlit pitches.
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 October 1st, 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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