Category Five – Population Category over 5,000
Winner: Ballina, Co Mayo
Since its foundation in 2019 by six volunteers involved initially in a Saturday morning litter pick, the Ballina Community Clean-up Group has expanded to over 300 volunteers from all around Ballina, who have had a transformative effect on the town. The Saturday 8am litter pick remains at the core of activities, but there is also painting, sweeping, cleaning, planting, creating art, fundraising, promoting awareness of biodiversity and lots more. The initiative was designed to improve Ballina as a community and a tourist town, to encourage civic pride, and to bring people together to enjoy and appreciate their town and create positive change. Covid encouraged many more people to get involved and form new connections, and it is truly a whole-of-town effort in a very welcoming and inclusive group. The biggest project this year is the planned Ballina Sensory Park in collaboration with Mayo County Council, for which €65,000 was raised during the Freeze4February dip with over 1,000 people participating.
Community Contact: Maura Murphy
What started as a highly motivated environmental initiative has become so much more. Barriers have been broken down, local business has engaged, volunteerism is on the increase and many excellent projects have started. Above all there is participation from across the entire community.