This year, the organising committee for Co Kildare People of the Year Awards are specifically asking for youth awards, either for individuals or for group awards.
“We feel we’d like to see youth recognised for their contribution to our communities” said Matt Browne, Awards Co-Ordinator. “With austerity measures still impacting on vulnerable groups in society such as the elderly, special needs and the disabled, there’s a notable swing (as last year) to nominations for persons carrying out volunteer work in these areas”.
Mr Browne added they’d also like to encourage future generations to contribute to community work by recognising their work within the awards. Jumping Jellybeans, a group which evolved from Milltown Foróige, was one such group who received a youth award in recent years. The Foróige group united with teenage peers with special needs and formed a weekly social club, helping each group to communicate better with the other.
The 2014 awards were officially launched last month by Mayor of Kildare, Cllr Fiona O’Loughlin at Áras Cill Dara. Mayor O’Loughlin said she was delighted to support the county awards which recognise the many volunteers who provide social, recreational and educational support services within our communities.
This is the 25th year to run the awards in Co Kildare; ten local award winners will be recognised at a Gala banquet on Saturday, November 1 at the Keadeen Hotel, from which one nominee (individual or group) will be announced the overall winner. Maureen Abbott of Celbridge was last year’s winner, for her voluntary work in Celbridge, particularly with the elderly and TASK, along with The Mill Project and major fundraising in the area. Leinster Leader readers are asked to to submit nominations and to please note, the deadline has been extended to August 29th.
A person can be nominated for voluntary work with a sporting club, community project, ongoing fundraising, or any association or group that benefits youth, special needs, the elderly, etc.
The person or group must be either living or born or working in Co Kildare to validate the nominations.
Hope (D) was the first group to win the overall award, for providing services in the area of mental health and supporting families affected by suicide. Mr Browne added that many of the above winners utilised the occasion and title to promote/highlight their organisations’ functions and targets. The nomination deadline extended to August 29.
To nominate someone, see the entry form in this week’s Leinster Leader.