What a year it has been so far for us here at An Óige – Irish Youth Hostel Association.
Already this year we have held two very success campaigns in our 2nd annual An Óige Environmental Week and our #SchoolsOut youth travel competition. We also saw our Killarney International Hostel win a Best of Killarney Experts Choice Award. Perhaps the biggest news of all was the announcement of our partnership with Youth Work Ireland, Ireland’s largest youth organisation, which will see both organisations working together to promote independence in young people through travel as well as promoting the importance of local youth services delivered by local communities in order to better improve the quality of life for young people.
Now, on top of all that, we’re absolutely thrilled to have been named a county winner in the Heritage category of the National Lottery Good Causes Awards 2019.
These special awards are aimed at honouring the inspiring work and achievements of thousands of projects, clubs and individuals all over Ireland with the help of Good Causes funding.
Nearly 30 cent in every €1 spent on National Lottery games – or over €619,000 per day – goes back to Good Causes all over the country in the areas of Sports, Arts, Culture, Heritage, Community, Health, Youth and the Irish Language. Last year alone more than €226 million was raised by players of National Lottery games for such Good Causes
An Óige received the award for the incredible work undertaken by our An Óige Conservation Group who over the past year have been carrying out the conservation management plan drawn up in 2016 for our Knockree Youth Hostel site in Co. Wicklow.
Over the past year, the An Óige Conservation Group have seen their application for a grant to establish a new 4.5 hectare native woodland scheme at Knockree approved. This allowed them to plant 10,000 trees on the grounds of Knockree Youth Hostel, almost doubling the number of trees on the site.
The An Óige Conservation Group also erected deer proof fencing around the grounds of Knockree Youth Hostel in order to protect these trees from local wildlife in the safest way possible.