The National Lottery have officially launched this year’s National Lottery Good Causes Awards, which honours the inspiring work and achievements of thousands of projects, clubs and individuals all over Ireland, who, with the help of National Lottery Good Causes funding, have had an extraordinary impact on their local communities.
The awards ceremony will take place on Saturday, 21st of October in Kilashee House Hotel in Naas, Co. Kildare.
Minister Paschal Donohoe, National Lottery CEO Andrew Algeo and Derek Duffy founder of Cú Chulainn Blood Bikes, last year’s overall winning group, attended today’s launch event which took place at the Royal Hibernian Academy.
Minister Donohoe commended the work being carried out in communities all over the country and spoke of the impact National Lottery Good Causes funding has had in his own constituency.
“The National Lottery Good Causes Awards provide the perfect opportunity to both recognize and highlight the amazing work being carried out by groups all over the country. In my own constituency, I see the impact on the ground with the redevelopment of the Grangegorman complex who received a Sports Capital grant back in 2021 and St Francis Hospice who received a much-needed grant for their modern medication and treatment room. These are just one or two examples of thousands of Good Causes who so heavily rely on this funding and really highlights why the National Lottery was set up over 36 years ago.
One of the very last reports my predecessor, Minister Michael McGrath, published before he moved into his new ministerial role as Minister of Finance, was the Indecon report on how National Lottery funding is distributed and utilised which made some key recommendations around greater transparency and acknowledgement of National Lottery support, greater engagement with the non-profit sector, the creation of an Open Call Fund and improved governance; recommendations which I am fully supportive of and keen to progress with my department in 2023”.
Derek Duffy, founder of Cú Chulainn Blood Bikes spoke about winning the overall Good Cause of the Year award 2022 and how they utilised their €35,000 prize last year.
“Being a part of last year's Good Causes Awards was a truly humbling experience. You’re sitting in a room full of amazing people who do such extraordinary work in their communities. It was totally surreal winning the overall Good Cause of the Year prize, we weren’t expecting it at all. This organisation started off seven years ago with just me on a motorbike to what it is now, a regional blood bike group. The win was just enormous for us and meant so much to the volunteers because without them, we just wouldn’t exist. We used the prize money from last year's awards to purchase a brand-new bike and van to help us transport more medical supplies to hospitals nationwide”.
National Lottery CEO Andrew Algeo was delighted to welcome the Good Causes Awards into their fifth year and looks forward to bringing attention to the admirable Good Causes beneficiaries later this year.
“As we enter the fifth year of the National Lottery Good Causes Awards, we are reminded of the truly inspiring work carried out by Good Causes beneficiaries across the country every day. Often the efforts of our local clubs or voluntary groups may go unnoticed and it’s important for us to bring attention to that. Since 1987, over €6 Billion has been raised for Good Causes and over €4 million on average is being raised every week, which has a truly profound impact in communities and on the lives of generations of Irish people. All of us here at the National Lottery are delighted to be able to create an opportunity to shine a light on the incredible achievements of our beneficiaries.
Towards the end of last year, we saw the publication of the Indecon report which recommended greater transparency and acknowledgement of National Lottery funding which is something we wholeheartedly welcome and support, and we look forward to working alongside Minister Donohoe's Department to progress these recommendations in 2023”.
Individuals, community projects and organisations who received Good Causes funding between the years 2018 and 2022 are eligible to apply. Applications for the Awards are now open and beneficiaries can enter and check eligibility at www.lottery.ie/goodcausesawards
The Awards will have seven categories which are:
• Health and Wellbeing
• Arts & Culture
• Irish Language
A special category, ‘Hero of the Year’, will also be announced at the Awards final, in recognition of outstanding work done by an individual within an organisation and will receive a prize of €5,000.
Each category winner will receive €10,000 while the overall Good Cause of the Year will receive an additional €25,000.
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 34 years ago. In 2021 alone, a record-breaking €304 million was raised for local Good Causes in communities across Ireland.
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