Monday 26th August 2019
The Search is on for Ireland’s Volunteer of the Year
Ladies Gaelic Football Stars Launch National Volunteer Awards
Ladies Gaelic Football Stars Orla Murphy and Kate Byrne have today kicked off the 2019 Volunteer Ireland Awards campaign. From now until 4th October, we are calling on the people of Westmeath County to nominate a volunteer they feel is deserving of a national Volunteer Ireland Award. One outstanding nominee will be named Christine Buckley Volunteer of the Year at a special ceremony in December.
According to Michelle Raleigh, Westmeath Volunteer Centre coordinator “Volunteers are the lifeblood of Irish society and we are proud to have a strong culture of volunteering in Westmeath. Without them, many of the things we take for granted simply wouldn’t exist. It’s hard to think of an area that doesn’t benefit from volunteers – from healthcare to sport, supporting vulnerable people or protecting our environment, volunteers are the biggest heroes we have. But they are unsung heroes, and with these awards we want to shine a light on the amazing people who give so much to various organisations throughout Westmeath without any expectation of thanks or glory.”
In 2018 Jane and Tamsyn Harris, ISPCA, and Maeve O’Donoghue, Mullingar Dog shelter (WINNER) made the shortlisting under the ‘animals and environment’ category.
Aside from Ireland’s Volunteer of the Year, volunteers will be recognised in ten other categories across areas such as children and youth, culture and emergency services.
Anyone can nominate a volunteer, and the ten categories are:
• Animals and Environment
• Arts, Culture and Media
• Campaigning and Awareness Raising
• Children and Youth
• Safety and Emergency Services
• Health and Disability
• Social Work and Social Inclusion
• Sports and Recreation
• Outstanding Group
There is also a special commendation for Volunteer Manager of the Year which can be a paid or voluntary position. All shortlisted applicants are automatically eligible for the overall Volunteer of the Year Award. Nominations close at midnight on Friday 4th October and can be made online at www.volunteer.ie.
“About half of volunteering in Ireland takes place in sport with so many grassroots clubs and events reliant on the support of volunteers in their communities. We are delighted that Orla and Kate were on hand to launch this year’s awards. Now we need the public’s help to nominate the ordinary people doing extraordinary things in their communities.”
LGFA President Marie Hickey commented: “As an Association, we are acutely aware of the importance of volunteers in sport. Volunteers devote time and energy, and show exceptional dedication to their role, for the betterment of Ladies Gaelic Football, and in various sports.
“The Volunteer Ireland Awards are a magnificent way to acknowledge the unsung heroes in sport, the volunteers who give so selflessly of their time. We have acknowledged our own volunteers in recent times across a wide range of categories, and I’m sure that there will be a huge amount of applications flooding in for the National Volunteer awards. I would like to wish all of the nominees well across the ten categories.”
The nominations will be whittled down to a shortlist of 30 outstanding volunteers who will be invited with their family and friends to an awards ceremony in Dublin in December where they will be honoured and celebrated.
Nominations can be made online here.