Integration Efforts in Balbriggan Awarded

October 21, 2013 0

Last week Cairde and Balbriggan Integration Forum were awarded for their efforts to build a more integrated community in the Balbriggan area and received Fingal County Council Community Group of the Year Award and Balbriggan Town Council Award.


Emilia Marchelewska, Cairde Integration Project Leader and Olaf Berthold and Bridie O’Reilly, BIF members received the awards on behalf of the BIF from Annmarie Farrelly, Director of Housing & Community, FCC and Mayor of FCC, Cllr Kieran Dennison.

Balbriggan Integration Forum (BIF) is the Overall Winner of Fingal County Council’s Community Division Community Group of the Year Award 2013! BIF also won the 1st price in the ‘Representative Organisation’ Category! This Award aims to acknowledge and promote the work of community groups working in the administrative area of Fingal County Council. Almost 180 groups were nominated and 24 were shortlisted for the Award this year.

Cairde Balbriggan also received the Balbriggan Town Council Annual Award in recognition of helping all communities in Balbriggan in integrate.

 Gerry Williams - Failte Isteach, Sarah Duku - Cairde, Cathaoirleach of Balbriggan Cllr Peader O'Kelly, Marianna Prontera - Cairde

Gerry Williams – Failte Isteach, Sarah Duku – Cairde, Cathaoirleach of Balbriggan Cllr Peader O’Kelly, Marianna Prontera – Cairde

Balbriggan Integration Forum responds to the needs of the local community. It is a voluntary body that believes in developing positive intercultural relationships by respecting and sharing the richness, beauty and potential of all people and their respective cultures which will add significantly to the quality of people’s lives in the area.

Balbriggan has doubled in size over the last 10 years and its population became more culturally diverse. The town also has one of the highest concentrations of ethnic minorities per head of population in Ireland. The Forum has been set up part of Cairde Integration Initiative run since 2011 that aims to support integration process in town. It has gotten the support of local residents, groups and agencies, both Irish and not-originally Irish who regularly attend the Forum meetings.

Emilia Marchelewska, Cairde Balbriggan Integration Project Leader says:

“We are very proud and delighted that we got recognition for our work. We hope that this award will give the group a boost and more people will come on board. The meetings are open and anybody can get involved. BIF is a very vibrant and ambitious group. There are great initiatives that are currently running including Balbriggan Community Radio, logo competition for children organised with the local schools, wellbeing workshops and more.”

The next BIF meeting is taking place on November the 5th, 10.30am in Cairde Balbriggan building on Hampton Street.