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 that continued to provide services throughout the city during the pandemic under the umbrella of the Cork City Community Response Forum.
This year’s Community Development category winners The Lantern Project at Nano Nagle Place use learning, creativity and music to allow our participants to fully engage with the process of community development.
Coordinator Karina Healy said: “We love our work and are privileged and honoured to hold space for people who have experienced vulnerability in their lives and we are so looking forward to strengthening the relationships within our community and extending a welcoming hand to those who will engage with us in the future.
None of this could happen without the incredible support from the Nano Nagle Place team, board of management, the Presentation Sisters & our funders HSE, Cork Educational Training Board, National Lottery and others.
“We are not forgetting all the wonderful community organisations that we take example from and work side by side with.” Project Worker Ger O’Sullivan said that prior to Covid physical classes in wellbeing, music, gardening, and communications would have been held and when Covid-19 hit they moved everything online.
He said that social media was a great tool to connect with people and they organised Facebook live music events and wellbeing sessions, as well as YouTube tutorials for art and crochet.
He said those activities took them up to June and then Ms Healy came up with the idea of using Zoom, introducing those who weren’t tech-savvy to Zoom and getting people online so everyone could take part in online Zoom classes and sessions.
Mr O’Sullivan got the call from City Hall to inform him of their win during one of the Lantern Project’s socially distanced walks at The Lough, which have been taking place since the easing of restrictions, and was “delighted” with the news.
“During all the lockdowns we’ve been working at home. Thinking back you’d be saying how did we do it, but we did,” he said.