There was double Déise delight at the IPB Pride of Place awards held in Kilkenny on Saturday evening.
The Alexander Street community in Waterford was honoured with an award for winning the Urban Neighbourhoods/Villages with a population under 1000 category.The judges said: “Homely, convivial and happy are words that the judges used to describe this small city community. An active residents group is ensuring that this state of affairs endures. There are regular clean ups, community enhancement projects and, most important of all, social outings to enhance the lives of all the residents. The residents group is undoubtedly a crucial part of this charming enclave.”
Meanwhile, Dungarvan’s Déise Day Care Centre took top spot in the Age Friendly category, edging competition from Mayo Age Friendly and the Cavan Branch of the Alzheimer’s society.
The judges said: “As regards the winners the judges were particularly impressed by the sense of shared happiness and enjoyment that emanated from those who were cared for and those who cared for them. The empathy and commitment were palpable. Here is a very fine team of staff and volunteers delivering a home from home environment. This is a superb example of a community project that is dynamic, extremely well managed, provides an invaluable range of services and constantly looks for new and better ways in which activities can be expanded.”
900 representatives from counties across Ireland gathered in the Lyrath Estate Hotel for the awards, hosted by Kilkenny County Council.Sponsored by IPB, the Pride of Place competition was initiated 18 years ago though a Co-operation Ireland programme to acknowledge the invaluable work undertaken by volunteers and those involved in local community development. It has grown into the largest competition recognising community development achievements on the island of Ireland.Pride of Place founder and Chairman Tom Dowling said: “These Awards continue to be as important as ever after all these years and the purpose of the awards has never changed. They are about recognising and celebrating the extraordinary, inspirational tireless work being done by communities all over the Island of Ireland as they strive to make their place a better place in which to live.”
Dr Christopher Moran, Chairman of Co-operation Ireland said: “Pride of Place deserves its position as one of the most prestigious community awards on the island of Ireland and Co-operation Ireland is delighted that it continues to go from strength to strength.”George Jones Chairman, IPB Insurance said: “IPB Insurance is proud to be title sponsors of Pride of Place and most importantly what these Awards represent. As a mutual insurer of local authorities and their communities, these awards are an excellent fit as they recognise how volunteerism at a local level delivers an all-island social impact creating better places to live, work and socialise.”