Now in its 4th year, the Louth PPN Community and Voluntary Awards were introduced by the Secretariat of the Louth Public Participation Network to recognise, honour and celebrate the commitment and vibrancy of the community and voluntary sector in our County. The Awards strive to identify the value of the contribution and achievements made by groups and individuals in their communities.Now in its 4th year, the Louth PPN Community and Voluntary Awards were introduced by the Secretariat of the Louth Public Participation Network to recognise, honour and celebrate the commitment and vibrancy of the community and voluntary sector in our County. The Awards strive to identify the value of the contribution and achievements made by groups and individuals in their communities.

The Awards are open to nominations in the following categories

  • Arts & Culture
  • Environment/Animal
  • Children & Youth
  • Older Persons and Dissability
  • Ethnic Minorities
  • Sports
  • Voluntary Team of the Year
  • Outstsanding Individual Achievement

In attendance at the launch of the 2019 Awards was Kwasie Boyce from M.A.D. Youth Theatre, the 2018 Special Award recipient in the Children & Youth Category.  M.A.D Youth Theatre is working with young people through drama and the creative arts, providing professionally led weekly drama workshops and arts experience.  M.A.D. Youth Theatre helps young people from disadvantaged areas develop their skills in drama which in turn develops greater levels of self-esteem, personal effectiveness and confidence.  The organisation provides a different way to engage young people, and they strive to include those hard to reach groups and individuals that would never normally engage in this type of activity. M.A.D. Youth Theatre have had an amazing year with their members winning awards for best Actors, supporting Actress and best sound and light for their original play “2119” at the Class In Action International Youth Theatre Festival held in Prague last February.  They have just completed their first street theatre tour of the Táin Bo Cuailgne and are now very proud to have been picked to take part in the largest youth theatre gathering in Ireland, Youth Theatre Ireland National Festival of Youth Theatre.  M.A.D. Youth Theatre are offering free summer Arts Programmes for young people aged 11-15 years, for further details contact Kwasie Boyce on 083 1404747.

Also in attendance at the launch were Noreen McManus and Amy Mellon from Cuchulainn Celtic Strings, the 2018 Certificate recipient in the Arts & Culture Category.  Cuchulainn Celtic Strings is a community based group of young musicians who play and promote Irish Traditional music in County Louth and the North East Region.  In their short existence, Cuchulainn Celtic Strings has made a huge impact on the community in Louth, they regularly play at charity events, to support local and national groups.  Like M.A.D. Youth Theatre, Cuchulainn Celtic Strings have been extremely busy since receiving their Award last September.  They have performed at several charity events, such as, “Fairytale of Dundalk” in aid of North Louth Hospice and at Tesco Ireland’s launch of the Teddy Cedric in aid of Temple Street Children’s Hospital.  Showcasing Irish culture at not only a local but international level they have performed for the Indian Ambassador to Ireland at the Confederation of Indian Communities in Ireland as well as hosting a culture night for visiting Portuguese musicians.  A delegation from Taiwan had the pleasure of their sounds in collaboration with the Oriel Traditional Orchestra at an event in Drogheda last Saturday.  Their performance at the Dundalk “St Patrick’s Day Celebrations” received a rousing response from their audience.  Their list of performances for local communities include “The Big Hello” which celebrated “Our Community, Our Heritage” for National Community Events Weekend; the “Legends of Louth Festival” for the Tain March and “Cruinniú na nÓg”; to name but a few.  You can experience the delight of the sound of this amazing musical group at Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann in August this year when they have been invited back to the Gig Rig in Drogheda.
Over the coming weeks we will introduce you to some more of the previous year’s PPN Award Winners, like M.A.D Youth Theatre and Cuchulainn Celtic Strings, giving you a glimpse of some of the amazing work being done by voluntary led groups in your community.
The award winners will be announced at a gala ceremony on September 25th in Bellingham Castle.

The Awards scheme is now open for nominations and will close on 14th August. With over 330 community groups now registered with Louth PPN please make sure that individuals and groups in your community receive the acknowledgement that they deserve. Please submit your nomination now via the nomination form in your local paper or contact either Mairéad or Jeanette in the Louth PPN Office at louthppn@louthcoco.ie for a nomination form.  Mairéad and Jeanette will also be happy to provide you with further information on the work of Louth PPN and answer any questions you may have.