Another outstanding volunteer nominated for this year’s VI Awards for his work with St John Ambulance: Pádraig Allen!
Pádraig has volunteered with St John Ambulance for over 20 years and felt impassioned to preserve and catalogue the organisations heritage and bring it back to life. Between work and family commitments he managed to spend up to 16hrs+ per week often from dawn to dusk in a dusty basement at head office cataloging the precious material he discovered. He regularly updates a blog with stories of past members of the organisation who have contributed so much to Irish society. He has formed links between irish and international historians sharing information as far as Canada and Australia. He often gives up his time to meet relatives of deceased members to shine a light on an old photo they might have of their relative or a medal in their possession.
Pádraig has shown great initiative by working closely with other archivists and museums to learn about methods of preservation. He has now started to digitize the collection to ensure it accessible to future generations and those undergoing research. Pádraig has also travelled to London to heritage groups their at his own expense to share information about his journey to archivist and the history of the St. John Ambulance in Ireland. Since 2015, he has managed to raise up to 50k in funds for heritage projects. The most recent project, a 30 panel exhibition was funded by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and was officially launched by Minister Josepha Madigan T.D., in September, 2018.
Find out about all the nominees for the VI Awards here.