City Hall was packed tonight to see Meitheal Mara awarded the top prize at the Lord Mayor’s Community and Voluntary Awards.
Lord Mayor Mick Finn recognised Meitheal Mara for the dedicated service they have provided over the last 26 years.
The boatyard community group specialise in wooden boats and help people get QQI qualifications in woodwork, teaching them about boat building, seamanship and woodcraft. Their one to three-year programmes helps build confidence while developing new skills and they help people find jobs once qualified.
The Echo is proud sponsor of the awards.
“It is once again our great privilege and pleasure as a local community newspaper to support the Lord Mayor and the City Council in recognising the outstanding work being done by Cork people to help their fellow citizens," Eoghan Dinan, Assistant Editor of The Echo ,said.
“It is only right and proper that we should honour our Cork volunteers and celebrate them. These are people deciding to make a difference, and that difference is powerful."
Meitheal Mara were not the only winners on the night, with five other categories recognising some of the great work being done in and around Cork City.
In the Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sports Award, Mad About Cork were declared winners for the creative work they have done by breathing new life into the more run-down parts of the city. The group are also known for the colourful makeovers they have given the city’s electrical boxes.
The Churchfield Community Trust received the Community Development and Continuing Education Award for the services they provide to teenagers, preparing them for adult life and developing skills for the workplace.
The Health and Wellbeing Award was presented to Blankets of Hope, whose group of volunteers have knitted and crocheted over 15,000 blankets for people undergoing chemotherapy.
Winners of the Social Inclusion, Advocacy and Guidance Award were Sanctuary Runners - who build bridges between people who are in Direct Provision and Cork residents by running together and creating new friendships.
The club has been such a success it has spread beyond its Rebel roots, with groups in many cities and towns across Ireland.
The Social Service Charities and Environment Award was given to Children's Leukemia Association for the support and assistance they have provided to Cork families during and after the course of on-going treatment.