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ENNIS Tidy Towns have been announced as the winner of the Voluntary/Community Award at the 2021 Clare Business Excellence & Resilience Awards.

Ennis Tidy Towns are the first winner at the 2021 awards as finalists across 12 other categories have been announced ahead of the ceremony in glór on October 28.

The category, sponsored by St Francis Credit Union, is to acknowledge voluntary groups which have played a significant role in enhancing the quality of life in their local community. As winners, Ennis Tidy Towns will also be awarded a cash prize of €500. The group which has more than 40 volunteers and a committee of 20, has achieved huge success historically at the Supervalu Ireland Tidy Towns Awards and are current holders of the Tidiest Large Urban Centre title.

Over the last 18 months Ennis Tidy Towns committee hasn’t been able to physically meet, yet despite this has managed to submit the same number of projects in their national submission as in a regular year.

Cormac McCarthy has been chairperson of Ennis Tidy Towns for four years and a member for six. Having been named finalists in 2019, Cormac said to this year win the Voluntary/Community award at the Clare Business Excellence & Resilience Awards is an honour. “We’re absolutely honoured and I’d like to say a big thank you to all our volunteers who go out on a very regular basis to not only make the town look well – that’s how people mainly see Tidy Towns, as being out litter picking or weeding – but the awards really gave us a platform to show how we do work in the area of sustainability, biodiversity, heritage, social inclusion and all those other areas.

Cormac acknowledged continued efforts from volunteers despite disruptions from Government restrictions. “The strength of the committee was very evident during Covid. We managed to keep Tidy Towns on the road … We would arrange contactless drop-offs of litter-picking equipment to new volunteers and we got a tremendous uptake on that.”

Ennis Tidy Towns were also recognised for its work on social inclusion with new volunteers coming on board from local groups such as the Brothers of Charity. “Everyone recognises that for everyone to be able to contribute to their local community is hugely important for their own self-esteem and wellbeing,” says Cormac.

Judges praised the dynamism of the Ennis Tidy Towns group along with its contributions which make Ennis a great place to live.

“This is a voluntary group that conducts itself with a level of professionalism typical of an ambitious business. A clear, dynamic strategy informs the work of Ennis Tidy Towns through grassroots community engagement, social inclusion and a respect for environment.

“They foster a sense of community, engagement and empowerment to help make Ennis a great place to live, work and visit.” The judges also commended their ability to deliver projects alone and in partnership.
Ennis Tidy Towns are currently planning their local annual awards which will return later this year after a hiatus in 2020.

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