Local hearts for local heroes art competition

By Mary Dennehy

IS THERE a person who you would like to say ‘thank you’ to?

A new creative art competition, which shows heartfelt gratitude to those helping and supporting others through the pandemic, is this week being launched in The Echo.

Mairead Ryan 01 compressor

Bawn Community School art teacher Mairead Ryan (left) with Principal Ms Ursula McCabe

Called Local Hearts for Local Heroes, the competition is open to all children 16 years and under living in Tallaght and its surrounding communities of South Dublin.

The art competition is a chance for children and young people to creatively say ‘thank you’ to their unsung hero, and can, for example, be a mam, dad, brother, sister, neighbour, essential worker or  nurses in the local hospital.

The idea for the competition originated from Old Bawn Community School (OBCS) art teacher Mairead Ryan, who, alongside the school’s team of teachers, ran Local Hearts with students.

“The idea for Local Hearts was shared with schools by another Dublin art teacher Debra McCann”, Mairead told The Echo.

“The teachers at Old Bawn were looking at ways of reaching out to students, and asking what we could do as teachers and educators to support them.

“We wanted to reach out to students in a way that wasn’t just homework.”

OBCS introduced the Local Hearts project within the school, and more than 100 hearts were created.

All of the hearts received will be placed into a collage, framed and displayed in the school.

“We asked students to draw a heart, design it and dedicate it to their local hero”, Mairead said.

Local Hearts top 1 compressor

“It’s about thanking the people who are helping us every day…and recognising the people, who we’re grateful for.

“Taking part can create a really positive moment.”

After witnessing the success of the project within OBCS, Mairead contacted Tallaght Community Council (TCC) about rolling a separate project out to the community.

On learning about Local Hearts, TCC looked to the community for support, with The Echo, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Keeco Creative and Tallaght University Hospital Foundation all happy and proud to work together on the community-wide project.

Local Hearts will also be part of the celebrations for the virtual Tallafest 2020 later this month.

Tara De Buitlear, of TCC and the volunteer Tallafest director, said: “We are delighted to be part of this project for many reasons - it is a fun, creative and a collaborative way to stay connected while we are apart during Covid-19 and to also honour our own heroes during the crisis.

“This year we have to celebrate #Tallafest2020AtHome given the event restrictions and this project embodies part of the essence of Tallafest - family, creative fun and the Arts.”

While the important aspect of the project is expressing gratitude, there are some top prizes up for grabs in four different age categories – including a €100 Smyths voucher, a Playstation 4 and Spiderman game, a bike from Halfords and an Acer Travelmate laptop.

Tom Carroll of AWS (Amazon Web Services) said: “AWS is thrilled to be able to play a part in our community at this difficult time.

“A big thank you to Mairead Ryan for creating this fun activity.

“The children will have a great time selecting their local hero and creating a heart for them.”

The Echo’s Managing Director Emma Kennedy also expressed the local paper’s enthusiasm for the community project.

“We are delighted to be involved with this fantastic project. It is  a wonderful coming-together of education, business and commuity to celebrate our local heroes.”

Children and young people under the age of 16 are encouraged to get creative and submit their Local Heart by June 30, 2020.

Please see full details on the application form on pages 50 and 51 in this weeks Echo (June 4)

Pick up The Echo each week in June for an application form. 

Alternatively pick up an application form in one of these local shops:

  • SuperValu Springfield
    Centra Springfield
    Centra Killinarden 
    Centra Castle Tymon 
    Centra Kingswood

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