Today, Monday March 31st, former Ireland international footballer Niall Quinn joined with members of Dublin All Stars Marching Band to launch the tenth annual Dublin Bus Community Spirit Awards, calling for local voluntary groups to register.
The Community Spirit Awards provides voluntary groups across the Greater Dublin Area with support to develop new projects, grow services and help raise community spirit in their local community. Any voluntary group which is located within the area Dublin Bus services operate is eligible to apply for a grant of €1,000, €2,000 or €5,000. Dublin Bus Community Spirit Awards application forms are available from www.dublinbus.ie
Speaking in his role as patron of the Dublin Bus Community Spirit Awards Niall Quinn said: “I have been involved with the Community Spirit Awards since they were first awarded in 2004. The difference these grants have made to local community groups is invaluable and the work they carry out is vital to these communities. I would urge every voluntary group in Dublin to take the time to fill in the application form and apply for a Dublin Bus Community Spirit Award.”
Since 2004 close to 1500 voluntary groups have benefitted from the Dublin Bus Community Spirit Awards which uses unclaimed passenger change to fund grassroots voluntary groups around the capital. Among these are 135 groups supporting people with disabilities, 535 community development projects, 310 youth clubs and services, 85 football clubs, 110 family resource and community centres, 110 services for older people, 45 boxing clubs, 30 scout groups, and 20 dance clubs for young people.
There were 85 recipients in 2013, drawn from a wide variety of community groups and initiatives, including Dublin Swifts, a sports club which caters for children and adolescents who are wheelchair users; East Wall Summer project, an initiative which provides inter-generational activities to promote community spirit; Dublin Roller Derby, Ireland’s first roller derby league for the fast and furious, all-female contact sport on wheels; Knocklyon Network Ltd, a community group which gives unemployed people of all professions and ages an opportunity to network and exchange information about the job market within a proactive and supportive environment; and Solas Project which rejuvenates communities through education and sport by equipping and building up young people to overcome limitations imposed on them by social and educational disadvantage.
Dublin Bus chief executive Paddy Doherty said: “The commuters of Dublin support us by using our services every day. The Community Spirit Awards are essentially Dubliners giving back to Dubliners’ grassroots community organisations with an enthusiasm and ambition to improve their local areas and the lives of the families who live within them. There is no other initiative of its kind in Ireland and we are proud to have reached the milestone of ten years, making good use of the long-term unclaimed change from Dubliners.”
The closing date for applications is 20/06/2014. Successful applicants will be notified by Dublin Bus from August 2014 onwards.