We are the National Lottery Good Cause of the Year 2023
Meath Women’s Refuge and Support Services was honoured to be named overall National Lottery Good Cause of the Year, after winning the Health and Wellbeing category at the National Lottery Good Causes Awards ceremony, recently.
The National Lottery Good Causes Awards honour the inspiring work and achievements of thousands of projects, clubs and individuals from all over Ireland who, with the help of National Lottery Good Causes funding, have had an extraordinary impact on their local communities.
“We were thrilled to win the Health & Wellbeing category Award, and the overall title of National Lottery Good Cause of the Year Award 2023” said Sinead Smith, CEO, Meath Women’s Refuge & Support Services. “It’s a tribute to all our community, local businesses, partners and board members in Meath who have supported us so strongly over the years, and our hard-working staff team, many of whom have been with us for years. We hope this award shines a light on the strength of women affected by violence and abuse and highlights the work of all the local domestic violence services across Ireland.”
Marty Whelan, Chair of this year’s Judging Panel, explained why Meath Women’s Refuge and Support Services secured the coveted title; “Meath Women’s Refuge and Support Services has proven to be a beacon of hope, offering solace and strength to those who need it most. My fellow judges and I got a true sense of the deep and long-lasting impact felt by the users of this vital service and how important a role it plays in today’s society. Their unwavering commitment to protecting and empowering women has earned them the well-deserved title of National Lottery Good Cause of the Year 2023,” he said.
A HSE National Lottery grant enabled Meath Women’s Refuge and Supports Services to fund a series of holistic programmes to reduce stress and anxiety for women staying at the refuge. This included acupuncture, sound baths, weighted blankets to reduce anxiety and a new library of 154 books related to recovery and wellbeing.
This year’s Good Causes Awards ceremony took place in Killashee House Hotel in Co. Kildare. Grainne Seoige hosted the event and was joined by a star-studded line-up of guest presenters who handed out category awards, including TV personality Daithí O Sé, retired sprinting sensation Jason Smyth, the inspiring Deborah Samorin, renowned weather forecaster Joanna Donnelly and the talented actor James Martin from the Oscar-winning film ‘An Irish Goodbye.’
Meath Women’s Refuge and Support Services were presented with their Health and Wellbeing award by Joanna Donnelly, and Minister Paschal Donohoe had the honour of presenting the group with the overall Good Cause of the year award.
On presenting the coveted Award, the Minister said: “It has been a truly inspiring evening surrounded by such innovative groups who contribute so much to their communities every day, thanks to National Lottery funding. While each of the finalists have shown how deserving they are, it was an honour to present Meath Women’s Refuge and Support Services with the overall Good Cause of the Year Award. The support that they provide to their service users is enduring and truly makes a huge impact to the lives of many.”
Andrew Algeo, Chief Executive of the National Lottery said: “On behalf of the National Lottery, I extend our heartfelt congratulations to Meath Women’s Refuge and Support Services, as well as our other remarkable category winners. Your dedication to making a positive impact on society is truly inspiring. It’s been an honour to share the stage with such a variety of groups who benefit from Good Causes funding.”
This year’s National Lottery Good Causes Award winners are:
National Lottery Good Cause of the Year: Meath Women’s Refuge and Support Services
Heritage: The Little Museum of Dublin
Sport: Irish Homeless Street Leagues
Irish Language: AerachAiteachGaelach
Youth: Roscommon Young Carers
Community: Waterford Marine Search and Rescue
Arts & Culture: Children’s Books Ireland
Health & Wellbeing: Meath Women’s Refuge and Support Services
Hero of the Year: Jamie Blanche, Waterford Marine Search and Rescue
Attending the launch, Sinead Smith, CEO, Meath Women’s Refuge & Support Services, said: “Having a central agency responsible for a unified response to address domestic, sexual and gender-based violence is a long overdue and important development for Ireland."
Meath Women’s Refuge & Support Services are the latest charity to partner with Leinster Rugby for the 2023/24 season and will work with the club for the month of January.
A new report from Trinity College Dublin evaluating a child-centred and trauma informed project to support children in refuge from domestic violence at Meath Women’s Refuge and Support Services was launched today to coincide with World Children’s Day. The study represents the first time that research has been conducted in Ireland with children in refuge. The report was launched by Ombudsman for Children, Dr. Niall Muldoon.