Sven Habermann from Conservation Letterfrack inside Ernest Shackleton’s Polar cabin where he is restoring it for the Shackleton Museum in Athy Co.Kildare.
The Kildare-based Athy Heritage Museum and Curragh/Newbridge Garda Youth Diversion Project have beaten stiff competition to be announced as finalists and East Region winners in the first ever National Lottery Good Causes Awards.
The Awards are aimed at honouring the inspiring work and achievements of thousands of projects, clubs and individuals all over Ireland with the help of Good Causes funding. Nearly 30 cent in every euro spent on National Lottery games goes back to Good Causes.
The Kildare groups came out tops in the East Region in the Youth and Heritage categories, and now proceed to the finals. The winners will be announced at a televised Gala Awards Dinner in Dublin on November 3rd.
A total of 36 groups from all over Ireland now proceed to the final in six categories – Sport, Health & Wellbeing; Arts & Culture; Heritage; Community and Youth. Each national category winner will receive €10,000 while the overall Good Cause of the Year will get another €25,000 on top of this.
The Athy Heritage Centre-Museum offers the full story and experience of famed artic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, from his birth to his death. Good Causes funding has allowed it acquire the only surviving element of Shackleton’s polar expedition ship the ' Quest Cabin' .
The Curragh/Newbridge Garda Youth Diversion Project aims at preventing young offenders from entering into the full criminal justice system by offering them an opportunity to address their anti-social behavior. Good Causes funding has allowed it develop a multifaceted approach to the overall project programme.
National Lottery CEO, Dermot Griffin, today congratulated the Kildare winners on coming through the Regional stage of the competition and wished them the best of luck for the finals.
He said: “We were overwhelmed at the level of entries we received for our first National Lottery Good Causes Awards. We had over 500 applications from every County in Ireland in all categories. Through these Awards we want to show how people, organisations, projects and sports clubs are doing extraordinary things in their communities. This is work that often goes unrecognized.”
Chair of the judging panel, businessman and broadcaster, Bobby Kerr, said: “I have been blown away by the standard of the entries for these very important awards. As somebody who travels regularly all over Ireland for my work I am aware of the impact of National Lottery Good Causes funding. It has been an honour to have learned about the inspiring work that is going on around Ireland through the judging process.”