Winner: Meitheal Mara – Bádóireacht Initiative, Cork City
Meitheal Mara located in the heart of Cork city is a community boatyard, a registered charity and a nationally accredited training centre. This people-centred organisation is dedicated to personal development, skills enhancement and capacity building of participants of all ages through boatbuilding, woodcraft, and seamanship as well as the delivery of events, exhibitions and research.
The Bádóireacht programme, and its engagement with young people, is a corner stone of Meitheal Mara’s activities. Bádóireacht is about connecting young people with boats in particular those young people that would not otherwise have such opportunities. The programme encompasses all stages of a boat from wood to water allowing youth groups to build a currach, to learn how to row a boat that they have built themselves and even to participate in the annual Ocean to City rowing race. Those who have taken part in the Badóireacht Programme experience team work, creativity, perseverance, community engagement as well as a massive sense of accomplishment.
The winning entry concerns a wonderful project led by a voluntary board that has been in existence for some time now. It is now an essential part of a city’s social infrastructure and is making a real difference keeping young people on the right track and giving them skills and confidence by its unique training and activity programmes. The reach impact and results from this project are truly exceptional.
Runner up: Foróige Ballybane Traveller Integrated Youth Project, Galway City