Celebration as Donegal charities win top honours

Two charities from County Donegal, the Donegal Centre for Independent Living and The Exchange in Inishowen, have won top honours at the 2015 Better Together Awards in Dublin Castle on Wednesday evening (9 December).

The Letterkenny-based charity, Donegal Centre for Independent Living, won the top prize in the category for large charities, and The Exchange in Inishowen won the category for small charities in the Better Together Charity Video Competition.

The competition is part of Better Together, a nationwide campaign that aims to make Ireland a better place to live by building support for charities, clubs and associations across the country. The campaign is organised by The Wheel, a national network of 1,250 charities supported by Medtronic, one of the world’s largest medical technology, services and solutions companies.


One-hundred and ninety-eight charities, clubs and associations from across Ireland entered short videos on www.bettertogether.ieto highlight the impact of their work. The public voted for their favourite videos between September and December. One-hundred and eighty-one thousand votes were counted and the 35 most popular videos were subsequently shortlisted. The winning charities were each awarded a cash prize of €2,000.

Commenting on the announcement of the winners, Deirdre Garvey, Chief Executive of The Wheel said: “These awards showcase what we can achieve when people work together for the common good. The Better Together Campaign aims to inspire people to become active citizens. It can be as simple as volunteering with a local charity or club, joining a resident’s association, or taking part in elections and decision-making processes. Being an active citizen simply means being active in your community and taking an interest in the decisions that shape our lives.”

Dr Jacob A. Gayle, Vice-President of Medtronic Philanthropy: “The Better Together awards is the culmination of a nationwide drive that seeks to make Ireland a better place to live by building support for charities, clubs and community associations, as well as the people they serve. Medtronic is proud to support the awards, and to partner with The Wheel in helping to create the conditions for a thriving voluntary sector in Ireland. This evening’s awards celebrate the work of community and voluntary groups. As part of the campaign we were delighted to be able to host events for the non-profit community at our campuses in Galway, Athlone, Tullamore and Dublin and I know our employees were very impressed with the work going on in the communities. I congratulate everyone at the awards today and everyone working in the sector to improve the resources available in communities across this country.”

The support by Medtronic for the Better Together Campaign follows the launch earlier this year by the company of a €1 million national health initiative to support Irish organisations with innovative ideas on how to remove barriers to healthcare in under-served Irish communities.

The winning entries can be viewed at


better together awards

Donegal Centre for Independent Living have been awarded winner of the national Better Together competition in Dublin Castle in the ‘large organisation’ category.




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