Ladies Gaelic Football Stars Orla Murphy and Kate Byrne have kicked off the 2019 Volunteer Ireland Awards campaign. From now until 4th October, we are calling on the people of County Offaly to nominate a volunteer they feel is deserving of a national Volunteer Ireland Award.
Who can forget that Pullough Community Action Group won the Outstanding Group award at the national Volunteer Ireland Awards last year.
Pullough Community Action Group was set up by a group of 8 volunteers who felt this small rural village needed to have a shop where local people could buy basic groceries and meet their neighbours on a regular basis.
In spite of the fact that they had no money to bring about their dream of re-opening a shop, this group set about fundraising to set up a community, voluntary run shop. The re-opening of the shop has brought new life to the village. It not only provides local people with the opportunity to buy food locally but has become a social hub and is greatly contributing to inter-generational interaction through the hosting of community events. The creation of a youth space in an area of the shop has also made a big difference to the young people of the area.
Volunteers are the lifeblood of Irish society and we are proud to have a strong culture of volunteering in Offaly. 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 our community without any expectation of thanks or glory. This is our chance to nominate that special volunteer or volunteering group.
One particularly special aspect of the awards is that every person nominated – whether they are shortlisted or not – will receive a special ‘thank you’ card from Volunteer Ireland to show our appreciation for their dedication and commitment. 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. 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 https://www.volunteer.ie/events/vi-awards/who-are-you-nominating/.