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Cork City Council Nominates Community Groups for Pride of Place 2020 Awards

Cork City Council is once again delighted to link with Co-operation Ireland in nominating six communities, groups and organisations for the 2020 IPB Pride of Place awards. Pride of Place is an all-island competition that recognises improvements made by local communities to create civic pride in their area. The competition focus is about people coming together to shape, change and enjoy all that is good about their area.  This year, the award winners will be announced on 21st November.

This year’s Pride of Place categories are Urban Neighbourhood/Village under 3000 population and over 3000 population, Creative Place Initiative, Community Wellbeing Initiative, Community Climate Action Initiative, and Community Youth Led Initiative.

CMK08082020 REPRO FREE NO FEE Cloud Gardening – High-up on the Hut Rooftop project in Gurranabraher – Emma Woodhouse – Community gardener and Micheál O Connor, Health Action Zone Community Health Worker pictured the Hut Rooftop garden, Gurranabraher, Cork. City.  Picture: Clare Keogh Further Information Community Health Worker Micheál O Connor and local community gardeners who volunteer time, have been putting an effort in on the rooftop garden of The Hut in Gurranabraher over the past year – this local green space is ideal for small groups to meet and make or for use in one to one social support chats. Emma Woodhouse who volunteers and co- leads the “Growing places for wellbeing group” at The Hut meets weekly for an hour or two to take care, water sow and harvest. Growing here are tea herbs, strawberries, vegetables and flowers for local pollinators. In February the group hosted a composting workshop and installed a locally made Wormery on the roof – The worm colony will digest and transform the coffee and tea bags from the hut activities into wormcast – compost for the garden!! Drop in if you have an hour or two to spare! Supporting initiatives like The Hut Roof top is an example of one of the many aspects of HAZ Community Health Worker role. “We are actively involved in creating opportunities for social inclusion while also improving ecosystem services as best we can for communities in the long term through partnership” says the Community Health Worker. As a link between Health services and agencies – HAZ workers support directly Walking groups, Community arts and health, Community sheds, Music groups, health and wellbeing activities like Singing for the Brain across the community. Micheál lives by the good harvest equation – “some time and little effort equals many strawberries – tastes alot like health and wellbeing! and The thing about fruit is the more you pick the more you get”. Micheál added ”One of the seeds

Cork City Council had the difficult task of nominating just one nominee in each of the above categories. The nominees are:

  • Blarney Village for Urban Neighbourhood/Village under 3,000 population;
  • Ballincollig for Urban Neighbourhood/Village over 3,000 population;
  • The Hut (Youth & Community Resource Centre) in Gurranabraher for Creative Place Initiative;
  • Lantern Project for Community Wellbeing Initiative;
  • SHEP Earth Awareand Elders for Earth for Community Climate Action Initiative, and
  • The South Side Youth Forum in the category of Community Youth Led Initiative.

Speaking about the importance of the Pride of Place Awards Director of Service for Community Culture & Placemaking in Cork City Council, Adrienne Rodgers said:

 “Every year this competition is one that all community groups look forward to as they get to show the rest of the country the innovative and interesting ways they help their community and its people; from the small village to the stand alone community project group focussed on well being the Pride of Place is just that: an opportunity for the groups to showcase why they are so proud of their projects and places.

Nominee Profiles:

Urban Neighbourhood/Village under 3000 category:  Blarney Village

Blarney was nominated as a small village with a big heart. Blarney’s strong community spirit is shown through its many community initiatives such as Blarney Community First Responders who have trained over 300 local people, Blarney Tidy Towns group; Blarney Community Council, in existence for more 30 years, who revived the Blarney St. Patrick’s Day Parade; Blarney Men’s Shed who recently created outdoor classrooms for the national schools to help them as they reopened, and Blarney Meals on Wheels which was a real community effort during Covid-19, tripling the number of meals delivered.

Urban Neighbourhood/Village over 3000 category: Ballincollig

The people of Ballincollig have been working hard for the past three years, encouraging an ethos of working together to benefit the social, cultural, environmental and economic well-being of their community. A strong Community Forum and working groups for initiatives and areas to address particular issues and bring forward solutions contribute greatly to this, a shining example of which is the Ballincollig Covid-19 Community Response Forum Area Team, who responded to hundreds of calls during the lockdown.

Creative Place Initiative: The Hut (Youth & Community Resource Centre) Gurranabraher

The Hut has proven itself to be a truly creative space and often a transformative one for young and old in the area. Community members attending The Hut can work creatively through the anchor project Youth Work Ireland Cork through various mediums like art, music, spoken word/ rapping, group work and general youth groups. As well as chat and socialise with the Friday Morning Drop in Group; for older residents of the area, and dance and sing at the Sunday Tea dances (both pre-Covid). The jewel in the crown, literally, is the new creative space in the revitalised Rooftop Garden which was started by community member Eileen Walshe (RIP) and now through local volunteers and the Health Action Zone project to become a biodiversity hub and an outdoor learning space, running among other things music and rap classes and a master class in composting.

Community Wellbeing Initiative : Lantern Project

The work of the Lantern Project plays a very important role in assisting in the inclusion of those who are marginalised or vulnerable and are seeking to take steps towards improving their lives or wellbeing.

Founded in 2007, and located in Nano Nagle Place – a revitalised heritage building in the city centre – the Lantern is first and foremost a place of welcome and safety for all, regardless of nationality, background, or abilities.  It is a place where there is always an opportunity to meet someone, to make contact, find connections and build community.  The project does this by offering learning opportunities in a community setting, both as a means encourage people to reflect on what supports their wellbeing, and as a way to connect with others and to progress.

Community education courses offered include a variety of personal development, creative expression and practical skills-based courses.  During the lockdown the project found new ways to keep everyone connected and the co-ordinators and tutors used technology creatively to keep in weekly contact with everyone, including with live music performances. “In all we do we foster a community atmosphere and a sense of belonging for everyone associated with project”, said Karina Healy, Lantern Project co-ordinator.  

Community Climate Action Initiative: SHEP Earth Aware and Elders for Earth 

SHEP Earth Aware and Elders for Earth are part of the community education and development organisation SHEP (Social and Health Education Project). They aim to raise awareness about the climate and biodiversity crisis and they work with a wide range of other groups to put on courses, workshops, talks, films and conferences. In 2019, in collaboration with several other groups, they organised the Cork Conference on Intergenerational Climate Justice in the City Hall. It brought together a speaker panel of adult and teenage climate activists with an audience of over 200, made up of equal numbers of teenagers and older people. A highlight of this was the keynote address by President Michael D. Higgins in which he said “We must urgently do everything we can as a gesture towards intergenerational solidarity to safeguard a benign future existence on this planet.”

 Community Youth Led Initiative: The South Side Youth Forum

The South Side Youth Forum (SYF) was established in 2018. Young people who attended a Positive Health and Well Being event identified the need for a Youth Forum. A meeting was set up with young people from participating schools (Coláiste Eamann Rís, Presentation Secondary School, Ballyphehane, Coláiste Chriost Rí and Ballyphehane/Greenmount UBU and BAY Foróige Projects.) The young people, with support from the Steering Committee, drafted a plan of action on issues they faced.

SYF’s aim is to change the way young people are perceived in their communities and they work to create a positive impact in their locality. They do this through positive community initiatives such as adding a memorial bench and tree in their local park and creating Mental Health Awareness among their peers. In order to represent young people’s issues and ideas more effectively at community and citywide level, they created direct link with Cork City Council and they have an annual meeting with Council representatives including Directors of Service.

The forum now has approximately 30 young people and a Steering Committee consisting of Teachers, Youth Officers & Representatives of Togher/Ballyphehane CDP, Cork City Partnership and Cork City Council.

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