The Lord Mayor’s Community and Voluntary Awards 2021 have recognised the work of the city’s Covid Heroes who stepped up to help those most in need during what has been a difficult year for all.
The awards recognise the work of the voluntary organisations who continued to provide services throughout the city during the pandemic under the umbrella of the Cork City Community Response Forum.
The winner of the Lord Mayor’s Community and Voluntary Award 2021 in the Arts, Culture and Sport category is Mayfield GAA.
As was the case for many GAA clubs across the city, Mayfield GAA repurposed during restrictions, to ensure the delivery of shopping, prescriptions, and newsletters and the collection of food for Cork Penny Dinners.
Covid-19 Response Officer of Mayfield GAA Stephen Kelly said that when training and matches came to a halt, the club became involved in the Community Response Forum, helping those most in need.
Mr Kelly said the response was “unreal” and he then approached Dunnes Stores in Ballyvolane to do a food trolley appeal in aid of Cork Penny Dinners.
St Vincent’s GAA Club came on board and set up its function room for the storing and sorting of all the food donated to the charity.
Two trolleys became three, three became six, and over the period we were there, we took over 40 trolleys of food out of Dunnes and because of our involvement in conjunction with St Vincent’s, Dunnes decided to let Penny Dinners put trolleys in all their branches.
“So there was huge work done, not just by Mayfield, but by St Vincent’s too,” he said.
He said that hampers were also delivered to those most vulnerable in the community, lunches were delivered to children at home who would normally avail of the service in school, and the club also ensured the delivery of over 6,000 Mayfield Matters newsletters providing up-to-date information and advice to cocooning and isolating residents.
Mr Kelly said that receiving the award was “absolutely huge” and said that “it gives you that sense of fulfillment that you’re after doing something worthwhile and people have recognised it.
He said that it was a “complete and utter community effort” and paid tribute to Rosella Sheehan of Newbury House Family Centre, St Vincent’s GAA Club, Brian Dillons GAA Club, Penny Dinners and “everyone who jumped on board”.
The awards will air on the Cork City Council’s YouTube channel at 3.30pm on Friday.