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Sonya Lennon chair of this year’s judging panel, pictured at the announcement along with Gráinne Seoige, who will host the Awards ceremony later this year. Pic: Mac Innes Photography

Three Clare organisations make Lottery Good Causes final

The Irish Red Cross Clare, Lough Grainey Nature Sanctuary and the Clare Local Sports Partnership CLG have been selected among 35 national finalists in the National Lottery Good Causes Awards.

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.

With the support of a National Lottery HSE Grant, the Irish Red Cross Clare purchased a new community support vehicle which provides free transport to the people of Clare for medical appointments, travelling from all corners of Clare to hospitals all over Ireland.

More recently, the Irish Red Cross Clare have also been supporting the Clare Immigrant Support Centre with Ukrainian Refugees.

Lough Grainey Nature Sanctuary, is a not-for-profit community organisation that aims to protect biodiversity, while rewilding and restoring the ancient oak forest and helping children to reconnect with nature.

Through the Community Heritage Grant Scheme from the Heritage Council, they were able to purchase webcam equipment (NatureCam) and carry out a bat survey on the land in the Lough Grainey Valley.

Clare Local Sports Partnership CLG i sleading the way to develop inclusivity within their club to cater for everyone.

They provide opportunities for all children with a disability in Co. Clare to attend weekly Physical Activity sessions and a sports summer camp similar to their mainstream contemporaries.

With thanks to funding received through Sport Ireland, they worked with Clare GAA on running a pilot disability-specific (Autism) Cúl camp for children and hope to work with other national bodies and run further disability-specific camps in 2023.

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 October 1 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. 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.”

The 35 National Lottery Good Causes Awards finalists are below. More information on the finalists and the National Lottery Good Causes Awards can be found here

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