Garden Competition 2021- NOW CLOSED

We at Letterkenny Tidy Towns ran the 35th Annual Cleaner Community Garden Competition from 4th of July to 31st August 2021 with three categories.

We were delighted to run this Garden Competition for the Best Large Garden, Best Small Garden and Best Wildlife Friendly Garden categories. Each category is dedicated to previous Tidy Town members.  See below for details of the categories.

The competition ran from 4th July to 31st of August 2021.  The entries will now be judged and each category winner will receive a trophy and an Alcorns Gift Voucher.  (Please note that we can only accept entries from Letterkenny and the surrounding townlands.)

The Large Garden competition is known as the Sean Higgins Memorial Award. Adjudication will cover planting, colour including shrubs, grassy areas and flower borders encouraging wild life.

Last year’s ‘Large Garden’ winner from Anne and Charlie.

The Small Garden competition is known as the Charles and Rose Devlin Memorial Award. Adjudication will cover planting, colour including shrubs, grassy areas, and flower borders encouraging wild life.

Last year’s ‘Small Garden’ winner from Breege.

The Wildlife-friendly Garden competition is known as the May McClintock Memorial Award, sponsored by An Taisce. For examples of what we might be looking for in this category, see the biodiversity section of our website.

Last year’s ‘Wildlife Friendly Garden’ winner from Bronwyn. This category is all about encouraging natural growth to help out the pollinators and give wildlife a home.

THANK YOU TO ALL THE ENTRANTS & BEST OF LUCK!

The Tidytowns Committee.

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Charity Shops

The following article appeared in the “Tidy Times” column in the Letterkenny Leader on July 1st 2021.

In today’s world we often hear talk of ‘sustainability’. In previous times, an often used phrase was ‘reduce reuse recycle’. Tidy Towns as an organisation is very keen to promote both of these mantras. One great way that we can do our bit is through the use of charity shops. In these days of ‘fast fashion’, buying clothes from a charity shop is one way to save costs while helping to save the planet. Or it might be a place to buy pre-owned books, furniture or just about anything else you could wish for, often in good-as-new condition and always at a very reasonable price. The environment benefits greatly from both reducing the need to manufacture new goods and reducing the need to dispose of the used goods, particularly those which would go to landfill.

Meantime, the donor gets to clear out some space in their home. I once heard someone with a title along the lines of “Clutter consultant” (the mind boggles!) stating that if you don’t use an item of clothing for 6 months, then you don’t need it so chuck it out. I’m not sure I’d quite go that far, but certainly if you have a wardrobe full of clothes that aren’t likely to be worn again, why not have a good old clear-out.

Last but definitely not least, the charity gains some much needed income. Many charities have been seriously struggling for income this last year, and the impact of closing the shops was described as ‘seismic’ by one charity worker. I spoke to Eamonn of Good & New, who explained that the shop had been closed for 40 weeks, but accounts for most of the charity’s income. It was only due to having reserves that they were able to continue to operate, as they get no income at all from Government despite providing a vital service for cancer patients who are referred to Galway.

Without the service Good & New provide, cancer patients and their families would have to make their own way to Galway and find their own accommodation. Aside from the costs this would involve at a time when income may well be impacted negatively, there are also practicalities. For example, people who have radiotherapy treatment for prostate cancer need to have 3 litres of liquid ‘on board’ in order for the treatment to be safe. This inevitably results in the need for a lot of pee breaks on the way home. With a specialist bus, stops can be made. With public transport the situation would be impossible to manage.

Some of the literature available at Good & New. “The Toughest Journey” is a fascinating account of the bus ride to Galway, which appeared in the Irish Times.

In Letterkenny we have a range of charity shops. For the most part, they accept donations of clothes, books, CDs, and in some cases they also accept furniture, jewellery bric-a-brac and small electricals. These include:-

  • St Vincent DePaul (Lower Main Street) works to alleviate the impact of poverty on those most in need in our society, caring for the homeless and providing social support to enable people to help themselves.
  • Irish Wheelchair Association (Glencar shopping centre) provide services for people with physical disabilities, including advice, community centres, and support with assisted living, housing, holidays and motoring.
  • NCBI (Upper Main Street) offer services to people affected by sight loss. The advice and assistance they offer can be the difference between becoming isolated versus living a full life.
  • Good & New Charity shop (Port Road) provides free transport to Galway for people requiring cancer treatment, and assists with accommodation. They also offer a drop-in centre to provide advice and support for people affected by cancer and their families.
  • Animals In Need (Lower Main Street) rescue and rehome unwanted, injured and abandoned animals.
  • Universal Books (Church Lane) are not a charity shop, but have an excellent selection of second hand books.

So do take the time to check out your local charity shops, either as a buyer or a donor. You might find something you’d love, or get rid of something you no longer love, and you’ll be benefitting some of the most deserving people in our society.

The NCBI shop

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