Dublin Bus has announced the winners of the 2017 Community Spirit Awards and these five local voluntary and community groups have each received the top award of €5,000 for their contribution to the capital.
Having started back in 2004, this annual initiative acknowledges the achievements of local voluntary and community groups and provides them with funding to develop new projects, improve their locality and help raise community spirit.
The five €5,000 winners of this year's Dublin Bus Community Spirit Awards 2017
Darndale Belcamp Integrated Childcare Service Ltd
Over the past three years, this childcare service has seen an influx of children experiencing homelessness who've had limited chances to play due to their living circumstances. The Community Spirit Award will allow them to develop an outdoor garden space for babies and wobbler children with a musical wall and sand pit to encourage communication and creativity, as well as a sensory path and climbing frame to encourage motor development.
National Family Support Network
The National Family Support Network (NSFN) wants to expand their initiative called the Young Persons' Support Programme (YPSP), which supports 12 to 18-year-olds living with parents or siblings dealing with substance misuse. The NFSN envisage setting up a network of youth workers from external organisations to help train in the delivery of the programme and aim to pilot this initiative in Dublin. The Dublin Bus Community Spirit Awards funding will allow the network to print their YPSP manual and host several training sessions.
One Family is a voluntary organisation that seeks to provide support for one-parent families. One of their most important services is the One Family Crèche, which offers a stable and nurturing environment mostly to children from the asylum and homeless communities and to those who cannot financially afford to access other community based supports. Having recently moved into a larger building in Smithfield, they will now be able to refurbish and continue to provide vital services to vulnerable families.
Dublin footballer Philly McMahon was inspired to set up HalfTimeTalk CLG following the early death of his brother John, who he felt didn’t get a chance at the second half of his life. The Dublin Bus Community Spirit Award will help HalfTimeTalk CLG to help young people in Ballymun who are in receipt of social welfare and might not be aware that they can change their lives and enjoy fruitful careers. They will provide programmes and supports, using frameworks of sport and business, to help build their self-esteem as well as their employment options.
Anam Cara Parental & Sibling Bereavement Support
Founded in 2008 by a group of Dublin parents, Anam Cara offers support and information to bereaved parents and families. Open to all bereaved parents regardless of the age or circumstances of their child’s death, Anam Cara‘s vision is that every family will have the relevant support they need after the death of their son or daughter. The valuable funding from the Community Spirit Award will allow Anam Cara to establish a new group in Bray, Co. Wicklow ensuring bereaved families across south Dublin and north Wicklow will have access to appropriate information and support following the tragic sudden or unexpected death of their son or daughter.
Former professional Irish footballer Niall Quinn is patron of the Community Spirit Initiative, and speaking about the need for recognising these invaluable local organisations he said:
“Whether it’s working to make the lives of older people better, helping the homeless, mental health programmes, local sporting clubs or homework clubs, we need to encourage and support these voluntary and community groups and the people working in them. They make a tangible difference in their local areas and embody true community spirit. They are the real heroes of Dublin and Dublin Bus is delighted to recognise and support them through the Community Spirit Awards.”
Grants of €1,000, €2,000 or €5,000 are awarded and any voluntary or community group based in the Greater Dublin Area where Dublin Bus operates may apply. In addition to these five €5,000 winners, 15 groups are awarded €2,000, and a further 65 groups will receive €1,000. Since the first awards in 2004, over 1,800 voluntary and community groups, from family resource centres to scout groups, have benefited from the Dublin Bus Community Spirit Awards (the full list of this year’s winners can be seen at www.dublinbus.ie).
Each and every one of these organisations has done fantastic things for their community and these grants will ensure that they can keep up their good work.
Header image: Fennell Photography