Last year nominations were opened up for the MBC Financial Rebel Spirt Awards, which are celebrating Cork businesses and people that helped lift the spirits of those in County Cork during the various COVID lockdowns.

Blacknight is excited to be sponsoring this award (our CEO, Michele Neylon, was born in and grew up in Cork). We’ve sponsored the ‘A Nod beyond Cork’ category, and the nominees are fantastic.

According to Rebel Spirit Awards: “These Awards recognise Cork people and companies that “did sound things” during the past 24 months of various lockdowns.”

The plan is for the awards to:

The awards pay tribute to the artists, musicians, companies, community activists, public service members and more that made hearts burst with joy when we needed it most. There are 10 award categories for the Rebel Spirit Awards and members of the public nominated people and companies they think should get recognition. All nominees will be considered by a panel of judges.

The awards ceremony will take place at the Cork International Hotel on March 28th, 2022, and it will be a ticketed event and free for finalists. Cork actor and writer Tadhg Hickey will MC the event. The event will be run by Damien Mulley of Mulley Communications who runs other awards shows around social media and the web.

See the full event details here.

There are 10 categories in total:

  • A nod beyond Cork (sponsored by Blacknight) – Recognising people and organisations beyond Cork who did amazing things that made an impact
  • Local business – Community spirit: Local businesses that showed community spirit. Such as businesses that
    looked after their staff or looked after their local community.
  • Local business – Pivoting: Small businesses that changed gears during lockdown to help the Cork community.
  • Arts and culture – Arts and culture organisations and individuals that did something special in 2020/2021
  • Fundraising – Fundraising: innovative or impressive fundraising by Cork ngos 2020/2021
  • Public service -Public service orgs or individuals doing amazing things in 2020/2021 Garda, fire service that did community minded things in Cork
  • Voluntary orgs – Voluntary orgs doing amazing things in 2020/2021
  • Communicators – People that created and shared good factual information over the past 18 months.
  • Content creators – Those that did music, made entertaining websites, did fun videos.
  • Rebel thinking – People or businesses that came up with interesting or different ideas in the past 18 months. Could be a product, a service, an initiative.

Here’s a breakdown of all the finalists:

A Nod Beyond Cork Category (sponsored by Blacknight)

  • Feed the Heroes fed 200,000 meals to frontline workers
  • Nearform Covid dashboard maker
  • O’Neill’s pivot from sportswear to making scrubs
  • Alison Spittle’s Covideo party

Local Business Community Spirit Category

  • Cooking for the community – Pema Beshoff of Stacks Garden Catering cooked meals for her community
  • Jason O’Gorman Dynamite studios – Jason O’Gorman of Dynamite Studio made his Mini Cork City illustrations available for download so you can print them out and spend the next few days colouring them in and arranging them at home.
  • Ciara Parons, Tellus – veg on wheels – Ciara Parons donates veg grown on campus to Penny Dinners via her bike

Local Business – Pivoting Category

  • McWilliam Sailmakers – PPE Production – Handmade in Crosshaven – Produced gowns for healthcare workers.
  • Acme blinds – Pivoted to make face shields for healthcare workers
  • West Cork Distillers – Produced hand sanitiser
  • Airmedica – Produced hand sanitiser
  • Organico – Organico Care Packs based on care packs they made for staff

Arts and Culture

  • Will Sliney Art Challenge – Will Sliney encouraged kids to draw and gave 1000s of kids positive feedback and encouragement
  • Stevie G – Online Virtual Gigs including Halloween Disco for kids
  • Glucksman – Creativity At Home – Created online events to get kids to be creative while at home.
  • PhotoGo community photography. PhotoGo community photography competition engaged 4000 people with photography in level 5 lockdown
  • J.P. Quinn – produced a book for kids. A Bee at UCC book

Fundraising: Innovative or impressive fundraising 2020/2021

  • O’Connor family fundraiser for Irish Community Air Ambulance
  • SVP and CAB Motor Company Car raffle raised €275k
  • Sheila Power and family fundraiser for CUH Charity
  • Hamilton High School Turning Points Book fundraiser
  • Fundraiser for O’Donoghue family after a fire

Public Service Category

  • Postman Kevin Ruby for bringing a smile to people during lockdown
  • Cork County Council’s Covid 19 Community Support Programme
  • Denis O’Donovan for voluntary work in educating young people
  • Lecturer Dr Angela Flynn – Retrained and went on the front line during the first lockdown.
  • Dr Flynn states this nomination is for all those who redeployed as frontline healthcare workers

Community / Voluntary Orgs Category

  • Carrigaline Covid Response Team
  • Orla Egan – Orla redesigned the Cork LGBT Walking Tour to become a covid-safe interactive walking tour with plaques placed on buildings of significance to the Cork LGBT community with QR codes linking to exhibits on the Cork LGBT Digital Archive.
  • Shine, based in Carrigaline, Cork. Took their support and teaching online and this provided a lifeline to both parents and children during a very challenging and anxious time.
  • Magazine Road Residence Association Tree Planting in memory of those who died during the pandemic

Communicators Category

  • Eoin English – Irish Examiner
  • Sexual Health Centre Cork
  • Cork Traffic alerts
  • Central Statistics Office
  • Linda Kelly – Better Maternity Care

Content Creators Category

  • Tadgh Hickey
  • Two Norries Podcast
  • Cork County Council Rediscover Cork County Interactive Tourism Map and Town videos
  • Elite Pilates producing free daily videos during lockdown
  • Yay Cork Welcome Back, Cork campaign

Rebel Thinking Category

  • Notes to Cork – Positive messages on Cork Billboards
  • J.P. Quinn, sells framed pieces of the Old Bar in UCC
  • Be Mona has already turned over 18,000 plastic bottles into sports bras and leggings.
  • Foxglove Cocktails – Cocktail business started during lockdown sells cocktail mixer ingredients online
  • Kevin Smith – Created and self-published an award-winning comic
  • Matt Knight – Bird feeder vending machine in Carrigaline based on his son’s love of ducks

What an amazing and exciting array of nominees – best of luck to all of them and we look forward to seeing you in Cork in March!

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