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Councillor Bridie Willers. Photograph by John Kelly

Recognising work in the community

NEXT Wednesday is the closing date for nominations for this year’s Galway County Mayor’s Awards and one local representative is calling on people in South Galway to acknowledge the work of people and groups within their community.

The awards recognise and celebrate the work that individuals, groups, organisations and schools in the county contribute to their communities.

Nominations are being accepted in 11 categories, including the Business Contribution to Community Award; Community Economic Initiative Award; Environmental Award; Sports Award; Arts and Culture Award; Heritage Publication Award; Schools Contribution to Heritage Award; Best Contribution to Heritage Award; Age-Friendly Award; Social Inclusion Award
and the Volunteer of the Year Award.

Galway County Councillor Bridie Willers is urging people to get their nominations in before it is too late.

“I think it is very important to acknowledge people and groups, who are working hard in their community. There are so many people making positive contributions across South Galway and it is well worth the time it takes to fill in the nomination form to see them acknowledged,” she told The Clare Champion.

“Community groups can put themselves forward to be recognised for the work they have done. There are so many community groups working hard and it often goes unheralded. Now is our chance to right this and see them acknowledged. Schools can be nominated by anyone but there is usually a fairly informed school community, who can nominate them for the work they do. Parents and parents’ councils can nominate a school that they think has made a positive contribution to heritage for example,” Councillor Willers added.

“Individuals, clubs or community groups can nominate individuals, who they think have been exemplary volunteers and if they know someone who has contributed to their community, they should consider putting forward their name and highlighting the level of work that they do. Even getting shortlisted in the Mayor’s Awards is an achievement. I was at last year’s awards and the winners were really outstanding,” she commented.

South Galway was well represented in previous years’ nominations and two local organisations won awards in 2012. Gort Community School took the Environment Award 2012 and the Dolmen Centre, Kinvara brought home the Social Inclusion Award.

In 2011, the first year of the awards, the GOYA Gang in Kinvara were runners-up for the sport award, while South-East Galway Integrated Rural Development Ltd came second in the Community Enterprise category.

This year’s Age Friendly Award replaces last year’s Intergenerational Award, which marked 2012 European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations. The Age Friendly Award recognises the efforts that groups have made to support and integrate older persons in the community as County Galway works towards becoming an ‘age friendly’ county.

People wishing to nominate a person or organisation can download the form from the Galway County Council website and email to mayorsawards@galwaycoco.ie or can make a nomination directly on www.galway.ie/mayorsawards.

Additional information and photographs can also be submitted. The awards will be independently assessed and each category will be shortlisted to five nominees before the winners are announced at the Mayor’s Awards Ceremony on November 19. The deadline is next Wednesday at 4pm.

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