The Wheel Wins European Civic Pride Award
On 8 December, The Wheel was honoured to accept a Civic Pride Award from the European Civic Forum, an international network bringing together over 100 NGOs to promote citizenship education, human rights, and democracy. The award is shared with several other Irish civil society representative bodies who came together to petition the Department of Rural and Community Development to provide a Stability Fund to sustain and safeguard the community and voluntary sector through the COVID-19 crisis.
Six other initiatives from throughout Europe were also honoured by the European Civic Forum for their “Stories from the Lockdown” project which celebrates exceptional solidarity and civic participation in the face of crisis. These stories provide a snapshot into how civil society organisations, despite being stretched far beyond their usual capacity, have mobilised during the pandemic to ignite civic spirt and to assist those in need.
The Civic Pride Awards are part of the European Civic Forum’s overall campaign to highlight the essential role of civil society in Europe as a mediator between the individual and the state and to advocate for civil and social dialogue at national and EU-level as fundamental to democracy. They are calling for more recognition and support for the work of civil society and the essential values it defends, and to be meaningfully included in post-pandemic recovery and resilience plans.
Ivan Cooper, Director of Public Policy at The Wheel said:
“From the onset of the pandemic, the community and voluntary sector has united in solidarity to support the most vulnerable people in our communities. We need to make sure this precious national asset remain strong enough to help communities recover from the biggest socio-economic crisis in a generation.”