Winner: Gary Kelly Cancer Support Centre, Co Louth
The Gary Kelly Cancer Support Centre is located in Georges Street, Drogheda. It is a place of reflection, retreat and recovery for adults living with a cancer diagnosis. Gary Kelly was a footballer with Leeds United and represented Ireland at the 2002 World Cup. He donated €750,000 from his testimonial to help set up the centre in memory of his sister Mandy. His generosity was matched by many locals who donated time, materials and labour to the project. The centre relies hugely on the support of the public who contribute 90% of its annual running costs of €370,000. It provides an array of courses and programmes which greatly assist those living with a cancer diagnosis and provides support to their families. The centre could not exist without its volunteers who assist with its day to day running and with fundraising efforts. The citizens of Drogheda are very proud of the centre and the services it provides to the people of the northeast.
Community Contact: Barry Eaton firstname.lastname@example.org
This Centre made an immediate impression on the judges who experienced ongoing therapy sessions at first hand. They visited this impressive facility which is a sanctuary for the retreat, reflection and recovery of cancer sufferers and met with the enthusiastic volunteers who work alongside a dedicated professional staff body. A lasting impact was made by some former cancer patients in remission who highlighted the inspirational path that the Centre has provided for them, with many becoming volunteers themselves. A truly amazing and impressive entry in this category.
Runners Up: Erris Branch of the Irish Wheelchair Association, Co Mayo and Waterford & Tramore Arch Club