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Kildare win gold at prestigious community awards

Kildare County Council in partnership with local access groups from Naas, Newbridge, Celbridge, Maynooth and Athy have been announced as winners at this year’s All Ireland Community & Council Awards. The ceremony presented by IPB Insurance and LAMA (Local Authority Members Association) took place on Saturday,15 February 2020 in Croke Park Stadium, Dublin.

Social enterprises, councils, organisations, projects and individuals working within the communities across Ireland all entered this years’ event, which experienced the highest level of competition yet. This year entrants were required to provide information on the project they were submitting, the people involved and their achievements over the past year.

The prestigious awards recognise and celebrate community groups and councils working together across Ireland. They highlight the extraordinary work carried out within communities and reward unsung heroes for the phenomenal contribution they make throughout the year. With over 200 entries received, there were 24 well deserving winners crowned in the various categories.

In the category for Best Disability Access & Inclusion Initiative the Kildare group came away as winners with their initiative:

 Working to Make County Kildare Inclusive and Accessible to All.

 The initiative involved the development of:

 A County Kildare Access Strategy – A Universal Access Approach 2020-2022

  • Rollout of Public Awareness Campaigns to raise awareness around disability
  • Development of County Kildare Access Network – to share best practice and give guidance to local access groups.

The wining did not stop there for the group when they were presented with the main award of the night, the Grand Prix Award. This prestigious award was presented to the group as their initiative Working to make County Kildare Accessible to All received the highest average marks from the esteemed judging panel.

Chief Executive for Kildare County Council Mr. Peter Carey said "This award is an acknowledgment of the excellent partnership across many towns in our County, between the Council and local access groups, working together to make our County inclusive and accessible to all. To win the Grand Prix from a field of 200 excellent entries is a testament to the extent and quality of collaboration between the community and the Council and an achievement of which all parties can be proud"

Michael Hurley, Access Officer for Kildare County Council said that “I am delighted to accept these awards on behalf of the group and I believe the recognition we have received tonight is a true testament to how active participation between the council and community groups can deliver real change”.  He went on to add that “winning both awards will be a great platform for the launch of our Access Strategy- A Universal Access Approach 2020-2022 which we plan on launching in early April”. He also singled out Majella O’Keefe, Chairperson of Naas Access and Disability Group for particular mention for her work in helping to put the submission together.

Commenting on the winners at this year’s awards, IPB Insurance Chairman George Jones said, “The vision, variety and social impact reflected through the community projects shortlisted tonight is hugely inspiring. I would like to congratulate all the winners chosen from over 150 All-Ireland finalists. Community spirit is the cornerstone of Ireland’s societal heritage and therefore it is very important that we continue to recognise the valuable work being undertaken at a grass roots level. I would also like to compliment all 31 local authorities across the country that continue to give great leadership and support to their communities in creating better places to live, work and socialise. I wish everyone involved continued success with their endeavours into the future.” 

For more information on the All Ireland Community & Council Awards, which are presented by IPB Insurance and LAMA please see https://lamaawards.org/

Ends                                                                                                              17 January 2020

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