Press release: 27 Volunteers and 3 Groups Honoured at Volunteer Ireland Awards
4th December 2017: From 27 exceptional volunteers, 9 winners have been selected for this year’s Volunteer Ireland Awards including Michael Cardiff and Treasa Martin from Dublin City. These national awards to celebrate Ireland’s unsung heroes were held at a special ceremony in Sligo, the 2017 European Volunteering Capital, on 1st December.
The awards aim to celebrate the extraordinary dedication that nominees have shown to help others, often taking time away from family and friends to give back. They give us a chance to say thank you and celebrate their achievements.
Michael has been a member of the St. John’s Ambulance Ballyfermot Division for twenty years. As part of his volunteer role as the divisional manager, he is responsible for the administrative and day to day running of the volunteer local service. Not only is he responsible for recruiting new volunteers, his role also involves ensuring local volunteers are supported and mentored sharing his vast experience with them. He recently organised a citizen CPR initiative in the community and noticed a public defibrillator’s battery was dead and pads out of date. On discovering this he, with the support of his fellow volunteers, decided to organise for a new defibrillator to be placed on the main street which would be accessible to anyone who needed it and was trained to use it.
Treasa has been volunteering in various capacities all her life and at 90 years old shows no signs of slowing down. She is a born entertainer and brings the joy of music through singing, guitar and piano or keyboard to many around her, notably her monthly appearances at the local Nursing Home with her friends and her weekly singing both solo and with the Ballygall church choir. The impact she has had on her local community is tremendous. Currently she helps many friends around her by driving them regularly to do their weekly shopping, to church, to exercise classes, to ladies club etc. as none of her friends of a similar age still drive. She is currently organising to get a Garda Permit so that 3 generations of her family, along with some friends and members of Ballygall ladies’ club and choir, can go carol singing on Grafton Street in December to raise money for St. Vincent de Paul.
This year marked an extremely special year for the Volunteer Ireland Awards. Not only were they celebrating their tenth year, they also formed part of the prestigious closing ceremony of Sligo’s designation as European Volunteering Capital.
Commenting on the shortlist for the Volunteer Ireland Awards, Dublin City Volunteer Centre Manager Edwina Dewart said “Volunteers are the backbone of communities across Ireland. Michael and Treasa are fantastic examples of the strong culture of volunteering we have in Dublin City. Volunteers are often unseen but the contribution they make to Irish society is immense. These awards give us a chance to say thank you and celebrate the difference volunteers make every day.”
For more information on the Volunteer Ireland Awards 2017 visit www.volunteer.ie
Further information: Amy Woods, Volunteer Ireland: 085 717 9261
Notes to Editors:
Photos are available on request. Please contact Amy Woods on firstname.lastname@example.org or 085 717 9261.
Large image: Volunteer Ireland Awards, Radisson Blu Hotel, Sligo – 1st December 2017, Photo: James Connolly
Small images: Michael Cardiff and Treasa Martin, Radisson Blu Hotel, Sligo – 1st December 2017, Photo: James Connolly
Volunteer of the Year
Sister Patricia Wall – Slieveardagh Community, Tipperary
Animals & Environment
Suzanne O’Neill – Sean Walsh Memorial Park, Dublin
Arts, Culture & Media
Treasa Martin – Ballymun Local Community, Dublin
Campaigning & Awareness Raising
Mohammed Rafique – Rohingya Council, Carlow
Children & Youth
James Dempsey – Big Picture Youth Cafe, Dublin
Patricia Lynch – Dunshaughlin Local Community, Meath
Health & Disability
Mae Murphy – Drumkill Day Care Centre, Monaghan
Safety and Emergency Services
Michael Cardiff – St. John Ambulance Ballyfermot, Dublin
Social Work and Social Inclusion
George and Mary Sugrue – Chernobyl Children International, Kerry
Sports & Recreation
Benny Grogan – WATCH Cycling Club, Louth
Ballyphehane & Togher Community Arts & Crafts Initiative, Cork
Volunteer Manager Special Commendation
Eithne Kiely – Sligo Social Services, Sligo
About the Volunteer Ireland Awards
The Volunteer Ireland Awards are the national campaign to recognise Ireland’s volunteers supported by the network of Volunteer Centres and Volunteering Information Services. 30 shortlisted nominees and 3 shortlisted groups and their friends and family attended the gala Volunteer Ireland Awards ceremony on December 1st in the Radisson Hotel, Rosses Point, Co. Sligo. 10 category awardees were announced at the event along with the Volunteer Manager of the Year.
One exceptional volunteer, Sister Patricia Wall, was the recipient of the Christine Buckley Volunteer of the Year Award. The award is named in memory of the late Christine Buckley – campaigner, activist and Co-Founder of The Aislinn Education and Support Centre. Christine was Volunteer of the Year in 2009.