Niall Quinn today hosted an old-style street party in Stoneybatter, Dublin 7 with volunteer groups from around the capital to celebrate the importance of true community spirit and to launch this year’s Community Spirit Awards (CSA) organised by Dublin Bus. Past recipients of the awards
Shelbourne Girls FC, DCU Mercy Basketball Club, Artane/Beaumont Active Age Club, Irish Guide Dogs For the Blind, Ballymun Men’s Shed, Mount Argus Scouts and Esker Celtic Football were all in attendance to offer their support.
Addressing the groups, Patron of the Community Spirit Initiative Niall Quinn said “Whether it’s a day out for older people, homeless or mental health support programmes, children’s sports days or homework clubs, we need to encourage and support the people and volunteer groups that make a tangible difference in their local areas and embody true community spirit. They are the real heroes and Dublin Bus, through the CSAs, wants to support them and local communities around Dublin.”
The Dublin Bus Community Spirit Awards provides funding for volunteer community groups to develop new projects, improve their locality and help raise community spirit. Any voluntary group is eligible to apply for a grant of €1,000, €2,000 or €5,000. Application forms are available from here.
Dublin Bus Chief Executive Ray Coyne said, “We are very proud of this initiative as it supports people and groups who are selflessly and tirelessly giving back to their own communities. Each year we are more inspired by the groups who give up their own time and resources to improve the lives of others. Since 2004, we have helped fund almost 1,800 groups across Dublin with our grants to their worthwhile causes and we want to find more deserving groups that embody true community spirit and reward them in 2017”.
Any groups involved in any type of volunteer community work can apply. There were 85 recipients in 2016 drawn from a wide variety of groups, including ARTzheimer's that brings Alzheimer’s disease into a classroom setting through art, Tree of Hope that plants ‘trees of hope’ in communities as a symbol to all affected by a suicide or living with mental health issues, Inner City Enterprise - ICE helps the unemployed in Dublin's inner city to establish their own businesses. Family Carers Ireland provides respite for young carers, St Brendan's Hospital Mental Health Association, which among other things hosts horse-riding courses for people with severe illness and those experiencing homelessness, Irish Men’s Sheds Association with various locations around Dublin brings a new way for men to meet and talk with like-minded individuals about health and wellbeing and Irish Guide Dogs For the Blind Irelands national charity dedicated to helping persons who are blind or vision impaired and families of children with autism to achieve improved mobility and independence.
The closing date for applications is 23 June 2017. Successful applicants will be notified by Dublin Bus from August onwards.