The SuperValu TidyTowns competition for 2015 was officially launched today by Ann Phelan, T.D., Minister of State for Rural Affairs and Mr. Martin Kelleher, Managing Director of SuperValu, sponsors of the competition.
On launching the competition Minister Phelan said “The SuperValu TidyTowns Competition encourages the efforts of local people who bring huge benefits to their communities. It recognises all the work of the TidyTowns volunteers, from the planning stage to the completion of projects. It gives communities a vehicle to come together to effect change where they live. Each year for the last four years this competition has attracted over 800 entries from cities, towns and villages throughout the country and I hope that this impetus will be sustained this year.”
Minister Phelan mentioned the significance of the work of TidyTowns volunteers in preserving Ireland’s reputation as a clean and green destination to live in, do business in and visit. “The work of the generations of volunteers on TidyTowns committees cannot be overestimated, their efforts have been improving the environment in which we live for 57 years and has helped to transform the appearance of our towns and villages and to promote Ireland’s image abroad. The sense of place that develops when communities work together and take ownership of their own surroundings is evident where TidyTowns committees are active. Their communities offer a unique experience to visitors, from both at home and abroad. The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government has worked in partnership with Volunteer Ireland to grow voluntary effort; their website www.volunteer.ie matches members of the public interested in volunteering with voluntary opportunities in their own areas. TidyTowns committees should take advantage of this initiative to seek out new volunteers or voluntary expertise”
Speaking at the launch today, Martin Kelleher, SuperValu Managing Director said “2015 marks the 24th year of SuperValu’s sponsorship of TidyTowns. This is one of the longest running sponsorships in Ireland and one that we are extremely proud to be supporting.
We believe in local and TidyTowns is a perfect partnership for SuperValu. With 222 stores nationwide, our retailers are uniquely positioned to work with TidyTowns committees to build sustainable communities that we will be proud to pass on to future generations. Not only do we support TidyTowns nationally, but retailers contribute a further €100,000 to committees locally.
Year on year, there is tremendous work carried out by TidyTowns committees in every town and village in Ireland and this year we are hoping to further acknowledge this work with the inclusion of a youth category award, which will recognise some of the fine work undertaken by younger committee members. We live in challenging times, economically and socially, but the SuperValu TidyTowns competition demonstrates the power of local and the value it brings to our communities and our country.”
The Minister expressed her appreciation to SuperValu for their continued support in sponsoring the competition. “SuperValu have supported this competition for nearly a quarter of a century, they have helped it grow through their sponsorship and through their nationwide network of retailers. Thank you Martin and all your team for your support for this competition.”
As well as the main competition there are also ten Special Competitions that can be entered. Welcoming these competitions Minister Phelan said “these competitions add to the SuperValu TidyTowns competition and I would like to encourage entrants to consider entering some of them as well as the main competition. I also thank the sponsors of these competitions for their support over the years.”
The closing date for receipt of entries for this year’s competitions is 22nd May 2015. Entry forms to the SuperValu TidyTowns competition can be obtained from the TidyTowns Unit in the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government – Phone (096-24309) or by visiting www.tidytowns.ie or www.supervalu.ie. For entry to the Special Competitions please download your entry form at www.tidytowns.ie