Volunteers and staff representing community and voluntary groups from across Athlone gathered at the Medtronic facility last week for the Better Together Roadshow, a new initiative that aims to build support for local charities across Ireland.
The event, which included free workshops and a charity fair, was organised by The Wheel, a national network of 1,150 charities, and Medtronic, the global leader in medical technology.
Speaking in advance of the event, Deirdre Garvey, chief executive of The Wheel, said: “Community and voluntary groups play a key role in supporting active healthy communities. There are at least 55 registered charities and voluntary organisations operating in Athlone, but many of these groups are struggling to cope with falling income and an increasing demand for their services.”
A survey conducted by The Wheel in May found that over two thirds of charities reported increasing demand for their services over the past year, while 42 per cent have experienced a drop in income. “We are calling on the people of Athlone to reach out to these groups and support them by volunteering their time and skills or by donating regularly,” said Ms Garvey.
The roadshow event is part of Better Together, a national campaign that also includes an online video competition for charities and clubs, as well as a national Charity Hero Award, presented in association with the Volunteer Ireland Awards.
Local community and voluntary groups are invited to enter a short online video, no longer than two minutes, at www.bettertogether.ie to showcase their work and compete for three cash prizes of €2,000 each. Member of the public are invited to visit the website from September 24 to find causes in their area and to support them by voting for their videos, volunteering, or donating.
For more details visit www.bettertogether.ie