Waterford had a strong showing at the 2021 IPB Cooperation Ireland Pride of Place awards, which recently took place in Killarney, Co. Kerry.
 
Having been postponed last year due to Covid-19, there was strong Waterford representation at the awards in the Kingdom earlier this month, with three Waterford entries in various categories; the Gracedieu Combined Residents Association, The Deise Women’s Shed, and Rathgormack North Waterford Community Development.
 
Pride of Place is an all-island competition that recognises improvements made by local communities to create civic pride in their area.  The competition focus is about people coming together to shape, change and enjoy all that is good about their area.
 
The Deise Women’s Shed were runners-up in the Community Wellbeing Initiative Category, having secured a permanent site for the new Women’s Shed in Dungarvan, for providing a great resource for women in the locality and providing a sense of belonging to its members.
 
In the Cities Section - Urban Neighbourhoods with population of over 3000, The Gracedieu Combined Residents Association was announced as the overall winner. The judges were particularly impressed by a very strong voice of advocacy and a spirit of inclusivity in the Gracedieu Combined Residents Association.
 
The area of Gracedieu/Carrickphierish is a continually developing area of the North West suburbs of Waterford City. Local residents’ concerns that new housing estates and suburbs often develop ahead of community needs and identity prompted the establishment of the Gracedieu Combined Residents Council.
 
The group consists of representatives from many of the housing estates in the suburb and this structure enables all estates to have an effective strong voice in advocating for the community needs.
 
The focal community point is the new library and community rooms, which are used for meetings and community events such as the Get to Know Your Neighbour Festival, with the sports hall facilitating The Come and Try sports and Zumba dancing sessions.
 
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the group continued working on plans to develop a local community market and allotments, with plans well advanced for the establishment of a new juvenile GAA and soccer club. The group also engaged with Waterford City and County Council’s Keep Well Campaign and with the Community Garda.