Youngsters outside “The House” which is home to the Cox’s Demesne Youth and Community Group.
Louth County Council has nominated two entries to represent the county in this year’s Pride of Place competition, both of them from the North of the county.
Blackrock, which is currently the holder of the Ireland’s Tidiest Small Town accolade, has been entered into the “Island and Coastal Communities” category, while “The House” which hosts the Cox’s Demesne Youth and Community Group are in the “Community Wellbeing” category.
Louth and has had a significant level of success in the competition in recent years. The Gary Kelly Cancer Support Centre won the Community Wellbeing Initiative category in 2018 and the Maria Goretti Foundation was the winner of the Community Reaching Out category in 2017.
Community spirit is very much alive in Blackrock which is the current holder of the title of “Ireland’s Tidiest Small Town” in the National Tidy Towns competition. It is also a Gold Medal winner and is the Tidiest Town in the Midlands and East Region.
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The Tidy Towns groups are the most visible example of the huge level of volunteerism which exists in Blackrock. Inclusion is also at the heart of the many local organisations which range from sporting, heritage, arts and environment, many of which are based at the Community Centre which has been in existence for over thirty years.
The Cox’s Demesne Youth and Community Group, has been in existence since 1991 when two derelict council houses were renovated by the community, spearheaded by a local man, helped by a team of 18-20 year olds on a “Fás” scheme. People within the community offered their skills free of charge and the project became known locally as “The House” and the community took “pride” in its establishment and development.
It has a long legacy of community giving and it brings a cohesiveness and collaborative approach through interagency work, facilitation, investment and strategy, to the community it serves. “Well-being” is a focus that permeates through all of its activities and programmes.
Pride of Place is an All-Ireland competition which is organised by Co-operation Ireland in conjunction with IPB Insurance and features communities from every city/town and county and is now the country’s most prestigious community event.
“The competition is about showing respect and inclusion for every sector in our communities, young, old, rich or poor and creating communities to which the people are proud to say they belong”, said Tom Dowling, former Meath County Manager and Chairman of the Pride of Place initiative.
The Chief Executive of Louth County Council, Joan Martin, said “We are delighted that Blackrock and ‘The House’ in Cox’s Demesne are representing Louth in this year’s Pride of Place Competition. It is a wonderful competition which showcases all that is best and innovative in communities throughout the island of Ireland.
“Louth County Council has worked closely with many of the organisations in Blackrock for many years and we appreciate their level of volunteerism which has helped to make Blackrock a great place in which to live, visit and work.”
“Over the last 30 Years, ‘The House’, has blossomed as a result of being part of a close community within an urban local authority neighbourhood and become a shining example of how community development works best, where community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems. We wish both entries the very best of luck”.
Judging of the competition will take place virtually and concludes on 30th September. The Pride of Place virtual awards ceremony will take place on the 20th November.
For more information on Pride of Place please visit www.prideofplace.ie
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