Community projects from Waterford, Cork, Galway, Sligo and Roscommon also scoop top honours
National Lottery Good Causes Awards highlight the extraordinary work impacting communities all over Ireland
An inspiring voluntary organisation which transports blood samples, breast milk for premature babies and medical supplies throughout local hospitals, has been named as the 2022 National Lottery Good Cause of the Year.
The Monaghan-based, Cú Chulainn Blood Bikes was named National Lottery Good Cause of the Year and also won the Community category at the National Lottery Good Causes Awards ceremony which was held in Killsahee House Hotel in Co.Kildare on October 1st.
The National Lottery Good Causes 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.
The Cú Chulainn Blood Bikes are a voluntary organisation who transport blood samples, covid samples, breast milk for premature babies, medical supplies and blood for terminally ill children throughout local hospitals in Monaghan, Louth, Cavan and Meath.
Commenting on this year’s overall winner, Chair of the Judging Panel, Sonya Lennon, explained why Cú Chulainn Blood Bikes took home the top gong; “One man’s vision, determination and experience has created a voluntary organisation which saves and changes lives, and Cú Chulainn Blood Bikes have now established a template that can generate -island-wide impact across all communities,” she said.
Derek Duffy, of Cú Chulainn Blood Bikes was announced as the National Lottery Good Cause of the Year 2002.
The National Lottery funding which is distributed through the HSE has enabled Cú Chulainn Blood Bikes to change one of their vehicles which had high mileage on it to a newer model. The impact on the community was immense as it enabled them to continue to save lives and answer their calls quicker.
This year’s Good Causes Awards ceremony took place in Killashee House Hotel in Co.Kildare. Grainne Seoige hosted the event and was joined by an array of familiar faces to present each of the awards to the category winners.
Cú Chulainn Blood Bikes were presented with their community award by Nuala Carey and Minister Michael McGrath had the honour of presenting the group with the overall Good Cause of the year award.
The Awards have seven categories: Sport, Health & Wellbeing, Heritage, Arts & Culture, Community, Youth and Irish Language. A brand-new award category, ‘Hero of the Year’, was created this year to recognise outstanding work done by an individual within an organisation. This year’s winner was Josie Reynolds, volunteer with the Melting Pot Community Society in Co. Roscommon.
The seven category winners each received €10,000; the Hero of the Year received €5,000 and the overall Good Cause of the Year, Cú Chulainn Blood Bikes received an additional €25,000.
Andrew Algeo, Chief Executive of the National Lottery said: “I would like to congratulate all of the volunteers at Cú Chulainn Blood Bikes as well as our other category winners who’ve all had a massive impact on the ground within each of their communities. It is such an inspiration to see how tirelessly these people work and how much time they dedicate daily for the benefit of others. It’s been an honour to share the stage with such a variety of groups who benefit from Good Causes funding.”
This year’s National Lottery Good Causes Award winners are: (full details below)
National Lottery Good Causes of the Year and Community winner: Cú Chulainn Blood Bikes (Monaghan)
Heritage: Lough Grainey Nature Sanctuary (Clare/Galway)
Sport: Park Rangers AFC - Female Focus Campaign (Waterford)
Irish Language: Gaillimh le Gaeilge (Galway)
Youth: The Rainbow Club (Cork)
Health and well-being: Strandhill Community Park
Arts & Culture: Waterford High Hopes Choir (Waterford)
Hero of the Year: Josie Reynolds, Volunteer, The Melting Pot Community Society, (Co. Roscommon)
Nearly 30 cent in every €1 spent on all National Lottery games goes back to Good Causes in the areas of sport, youth, health, welfare, education, arts, heritage and the Irish Language. In total more than €6 Billion has been raised for Good Causes since the National Lottery was established 35 years ago. In 2021 alone, a record-breaking €304 million was raised for local Good Causes in communities across Ireland.
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