A charity providing pre-hospital care and an independent conservation organisation are amongst the thirty-five community groups, sports clubs and organisations from all over Ireland who were today announced as national finalists in the National Lottery Good Causes Awards. Wicklow Rapid Response are a finalist in the Health & Wellbeing category while Birdwatch Ireland will contest in the Heritage category.
The Awards honour 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.
Health & Wellbeing
Wicklow Rapid Response
Wicklow Rapid Response is a voluntary charity who provide a high-level, pre-hospital critical care service and work in partnership and support the existing Emergency Services. Funding received via the HSE National Lottery Grant Scheme allowed the WWRR to complete their fundraising to purchase a critical care ventilator and also contributed toward the fundraising for the loan on their new rapid response vehicle.
Established in 1968, Birdwatch Ireland is the largest independent conservation organisation in Ireland. The aim of the registered charity, which has over 15,000 members, is to conserve wild birds and their natural habitats. During the Covid pandemic, birds became a significant source of entertainment, comfort and solace for people which led to an increase in enquiries about Irish wildlife. Thanks to the Heritage Council and Good Causes funding, their ‘Outreach for Nature’ project aimed to assist and engage better with the public and educate them on the role they could play in supporting nature conservation.
Each of the 35 finalists will now receive €1,000 and a hand-crafted trophy and proceed to the grand final in which there are seven categories: Arts & Culture, Community, Health & Wellbeing, Heritage, Irish language, Sport and Youth. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony which takes place on Saturday 1st October in the Kilashee House Hotel, Co. Kildare, where 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.
Gráinne Seoige, who will host the awards for the third consecutive year, said: “While last year’s event truly was unique as we had to go virtual due to the Covid restrictions in place, I am looking forward to meeting this year’s fantastic finalists in person.
“Hearing stories of triumph, strength and endurance have stood out as highlights from my previous two experiences of presenting the Awards and I am certain that this year will be no different. Seeing how communities from all over Ireland help and look out for each other is a truly inspiring part of the night and one that I am looking forward to playing a part in.”
Speaking at the announcement, Sonya Lennon who is Chair of this year’s judging panel, congratulated the 35 finalists who have reached this stage of the Awards process.
“Last month, we announced 118 County winners from all over the country who all had such inspiring stories about the work they do within their communities. Narrowing that same list down to 35 finalists was certainly not an easy task as all of the entries were truly moving,” she said.
“The entire judging process has really proved just how important the Good Causes Awards are in recognizing the incredible work being carried out by groups all over the country. I am now looking forward to meeting the finalists and hearing even more about the wonderful work they all do.”