Last year The Right Key were absolutely delighted to be nominated by the ABC council for the 'IPB Pride of Place Award.' Pride of Place is an all-island competition that recognises improvements made by local communities to create civic pride in their area. The competition focus is about people coming together to shape, change and enjoy all that is good about their area.
On Saturday 21st January Sheila Smyth (Founder of The Right Key) and Sharon Brown (Board Member) along with some of our local council representatives attended the awards ceremony in Dublin, while the rest of us at The Right Key; staff, volunteers, members, supporters etc watched the live stream of the ceremony on the edge of our seats to see if we won in our category.
Judges came to our centre in Loughbrickland in Autumn of last year, to find out more about us. We led them on a journey of how The Right Key started as a small pilot project providing music therapy at a rehabilitation centre for people recovering from addictions to a fully functioning Centre of Wellbeing offering everything to people in need from temporary accommodation, peer support, volunteering opportunities, to our wellbeing program and with music still at the heart at everything we do. In addition we informed the judges of our wider bespoke projects across communities, providing singing and wellbeing workshops in different areas and of our national performances as the ‘Voice of Recovery’.
If that wasn’t enough to impress the judges we also had a performance from the ‘Voice of Recovery’. This was where we showcased recovery in action. People from different life experiences, hardships and struggles, all on a journey of recovery, empowerment and healing from various things such as addictions, mental health issues and social isolation. The judges were able to hear from people all on different parts of their journey moving from ‘despair to repair’. The support and encouragement that filters throughout every single person involved within The Right Key is palpable especially when seeing people come together and transform as they start singing.
The day the judges came to meet us was a special day indeed with tears and laughter all around. So you can imagine our absolute pride and elation to be announced the winner of ‘Community Well-being Initiative’ at the prestigious awards ceremony on 21st January.
We dedicate this award to the staff and volunteers who work so hard, the members who attend our groups every week, to the board, supporters and advocates of The Right Key and to the community who has embraced us with open arms. This award is a recognition of how important and innovative our work is in changing lives for the better and has invigorated us to not only continue the work we are doing but to continue to grow and develop in our mission of promoting health, healing and recovery for individuals and communities.
Watch this space!