A NUMBER of hard-working Southside groups have landed top cash prizes in this year’s Bus Community Spirit Awards [CSA].
Various amounts of €1,000, €2,000 and €5,000 were awarded in a special ceremony in Croke Park to honour local heroes that help improve services, develop new projects and build community spirit across Dublin.
From youth to age action groups, the awards are designed to help bring communities alive by supporting volunteers who embody the real spirit of Dublin communities in a whole host of groups from education to sports to advocacy to support.
Former Irish international footballer Niall Quinn was on hand as guest of honour and patron of the initiative to host the evening and present the well deserved winners with their awards.
Among the 84 winners across Dublin awarded the top grant of €5,000 was the Down Syndrome Centre, Leopardstown, a charity dedicated to providing support and services to families and carers of people with Down Syndrome. They will use this much needed financial assistance to create an occupational therapy room and equipment.
The Daisyhouse Housing Association, located in Portobello, is a charity and approved housing body that provides supported temporary accommodation with uniquely tailored individual personal support programmes to women who are homeless. Their award will go towards continuing to offer personalised support programmes and accommodation.
Another Southside winner, Ballinteer Community School, is a mixed school for children aged 12-18 in South County Dublin that will now be able to deliver a positive mental health initiative for its young students.
And Just ASK, based in the city centre, supports secondary school students who struggle to find space to do homework and require assistance. With their CSA grant they will be able to provide space and healthy meals for children attending their services.
Since the first awards in 2004, over 1,500 voluntary groups, from family resource centres to scout troops, have benefitted from the Dublin Bus Community Spirit Awards which uses unclaimed passenger change to fund grassroots voluntary groups around the capital. Commenting on the night of the Community Spirit Awards, Ray Coyne, CEO of Dublin Bus, said: “Through the Community Spirit Awards we see the importance of local voluntary groups.
“I would like to congratulate all 84 winners on their awards and the work they do all year long. This initiative has allowed Dublin Bus and its customers to directly support the local communities that we service every day. Over the last 11 years we have seen the difference winning a Community Spirit Award can make to voluntary groups and communities across the capital and the invaluable support that these groups can then offer to those who use these services.”
Dublin Bus Community Spirit Awards patron Niall Quinn added: “Since the first awards over 10 years ago we have seen the importance of the Community Spirit Awards and the difference winning an award makes to communities throughout the Greater Dublin Area. A total of 84 groups will benefit tonight from unclaimed passenger change and voluntary groups around the city will get some much needed help in continuing to provide services in communities that need it.”