A Donegal woman has received the first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award from DLDC in recognition of her life’s work helping others.
Margaret Toner was honoured at the Donegal Local Development Company (DLDC)’s first Community Recognition Awards 2021 last Thursday.
The Manorcunningham woman has dedicated countless hours to helping others and making positive change.
She has always found happiness in giving back in her home community in Letterkenny and beyond.
Margaret may have retired (twice!) but she has never given up her passion for community work, and continues to work as Voluntary Manager of Letterkenny CDP.
It all started back in 1974 when Margaret, along with a group of parents in Ard O’Donnell, took on a mission of creating a safe play park for their children. This was supported by the Town Council.
Margaret has dedicated her life to those who are disadvantaged by using her own life’s experiences and her training in Community Development to encourage others to improve their lives and their community. She encourages a self-help approach with people to help them address issues arising in their life.
Margaret’s dedication to her community is evident in her work responding to drug alcohol misuse throughout Donegal. She is a confidential contact for people who are affected by addiction and their family; Margaret worked very closely with the North West Regional Drugs Task Force and the DSP to bring the first Community Employment Rehabilitation Scheme to Donegal. This project has helped many people to sustain their recovery from addiction.
During her time with Letterkenny C.D.P. (2001 to the present day) she has worked in partnership with many voluntary and statutory agencies in Letterkenny to address issues around housing, residents’ associations, and youth at risk, unemployment and early school learning.
She has set up many self-help groups in the community e.g. Lone Parents, Residents’ Associations, Women’s Group, and the Men’s Shed.
She loves getting involved in the community in a fun way and can regularly be seen in Letterkenny C.D.P’s Community events.
Margaret was shocked to receive DLDC’s first Lifetime Achievement Award, but few others would be surprised, given her incredible impact on life in Donegal.
The other very worthy nominees in this category were Mary McGowan, Fred Gallagher, Sharon Ferguson and Liam O’Donnell, who were all honoured for their roles leading a diverse range of initiatives.
Community Recognition Awards Winners 2021:
- Best Social Inclusion/Peer Support Campaign – Sponsored by Pramerica
Different Strokes for Different Folks
- Special Recognition Award – A Community Response to Covid-19 – Sponsored by Watson Hire
Tacú le Gaoth Dobhair – Consisting of Ionad Naomh Pádraig, Coiste Forbartha Chnoc Fola, Coiste Forbartha Dhún Lúiche & Comharchumann Forbartha Ghaoth Dobhair
- Best Community Organisation / Social Enterprise – Small – Sponsored by Highland Radio
We Care Foodbank
- Best Community Organisation / Social Enterprise – Large – Sponsored by Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce
Bluestacks Special Needs Foundation
- Lifetime Achievement Award – Individual Award – Sponsored by LYIT