Westmeath YoYo Youth Cafe Scoops National Lottery Youth Award

The YoYo Youth Café in Mullingar – described as a “safe haven” for young people – has won the Youth Award at the 2019 National Lottery Good Causes Awards.

The club received the award at the gala National Lottery Good Causes Awards, held in the Clayton Ballsbridge Hotel in Dublin on Saturday night (November 2).

YoYo Youth Café is organised through Youth Work Ireland Midlands and provides youth led activities and events for young people in Mullingar.

It offers recreational and needs based educational activities to young people and their families.

Through National Lottery funding the club organised ‘Music Jam’ sessions in the hall and music room for more than 90 young people from the Mullingar area.

The facility allowed young people who, through lack of financial, geographic or cultural norms access, would otherwise have not had the opportunity to get involved, to discover and enhance their musical ability.

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 impact on their communities.

Thirty six finalists gathered for an awards dinner hosted by broadcaster and journalist, Gráinne Seoige, with support from social media influencer and presenter, James Patrice.

Presenting the representatives from YoYo with their prize, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan said: “Community is at the heart of all we do in Ireland and the inspiring National Lottery Good Causes Awards finalists have excelled in their use of Good Causes funds to benefit their localities and the wider society.

“Good Causes funding has helped us build a better Ireland and has given communities opportunities they would not have had otherwise.”

Andrew Algeo, CEO of the National Lottery, said: “I would like to congratulate the YoYo Youth Cafe team and each of our other six category winners who make an incredible difference to the lives of many in their communities.

“These are just a few of the 4,000 great causes that improve life in Ireland and which are funded each year by National Lottery players. It’s a real motivator and inspiration for all of us at the National Lottery to see that funding at work.”

The six category winners received €10,000 each, and the overall Good Cause of the Year, Liquid Therapy, received an additional €25,000.

The National Lottery Good Cause Awards winners 2019 are:

• National Lottery Good Cause of the Year and winner of Sport and Recreation Category: Liquid Therapy

• Community: Social Action Group Rathmore

• Arts and Culture: Kids Own Publishing Partnership

• Heritage: Abbeyleix Bog Project

• Youth: YoYo Youth Café

• Health and Wellbeing: Cuisle Cancer Support Centre

• Irish Language: Fáilte ar Líne (DCU)