Fingal Groups Win Big at National Volunteer Awards
Saturday 5th December
Comfort4Covid and the D15 Unit of the Irish Red Cross were named winners in the Volunteer Ireland Awards.
The Comfort4Covid team was set up to help hospital patients and nursing home residents impacted by the COVID-19 lockdown. Having raised €115,000 in cash and over €100K in resources, the team sourced, configured and delivered 1067 tablets to 470 hospitals and nursing homes, helping over 20,000 vulnerable people.
The tablets are being used for many purposes. Sadly, they have been used to allow families to say goodbye to loved ones or comfort those who have been very sick. They have also been used to bring happiness, allowing families to celebrate an 80th birthday with a grandparent, or nursing home residents to watch their favourite old movie, or connect to their local mass.
The Dublin 15 team are a unit of the Irish Red Cross Society. The all volunteer team provides first aid, ambulance services and community support services to their community and beyond. This could be something as simple as providing shopping services for vulnerable people during COVID-19, or helping people when they get ill or injured at events & festivals.
During the pandemic, the group reached out to local pharmacies, supermarkets, shops and other essential services to ensure they were aware they could call them, and if they wanted them to check on any of their vulnerable customers to see if they needed anything. This summer alone, the group delivered 100s of meals on wheels through partnership with the local development bodies & HSE. These volunteers put in an incredible 4,000+ hours each year in the community.
According Fingal Volunteer Centre Manager to Daiga Martins Borges “We are lucky to have volunteers like these in Fingal. 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.”
Arthur and Deborah Carr were named Christine Buckley Volunteer of the Year for their outstanding commitment to supporting those in crisis in Galway.
Joe O’Brien TD, Minister of State for Community Development and Charities, added ‘’It gives me great pleasure to congratulate all the winners of the Volunteer Ireland 2020 Awards, which are supported by my Department. After what has been a very challenging year for us all, it is all the more important to thank those volunteers who have gone the extra mile to support the most vulnerable in our communities. In addition to the winners, I would also like to thank Volunteer Ireland for their work to support and champion volunteering around the country. ‘’
As a physical event was not possible this year each awardee received a special surprise delivery from Volunteer Ireland announcing their win. It included an engraved trophy, a framed message from President Higgins, complimentary tickets to EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum and of course, a hamper of goodies to celebrate with. All 805 volunteers nominated in this year’s awards also received a special thank you card from Volunteer Ireland earlier this month.
For more information contact Daiga da[email protected] 018991921
Notes to Editors
About the Volunteer Ireland Awards
The Volunteer Ireland Awards are now in their thirteenth year and aim to shine a light on the ordinary people doing extraordinary things in our communities every day. Winners were announced in thirteen categories with usually one volunteer – in this case two – being named Christine Buckley Volunteer of the Year. Our overall award is named after dedicated campaigner and previous awardee, Christine Buckley.
Volunteer Ireland Award Winners 2020
Arts, Culture and Festivals
- Helena Clarke, Glenamaddy Boyounagh Heritage, Galway
- Kara Richards, Athlone Community Radio 88.4fm, Westmeath
- Olive Murphy, Salesforce, Louth
Campaigning and Activism
- Cathy Blake, OutWest and Mayo Pride, Mayo
- Joe Murphy, Trócaire, Galway
- John Tobin, Special Olympics Ireland, Meath
Children and Youth
- Billy Browne, Aontas Ogra Youth Club, Kildare
- Karen Byrne, Children in Hospital Ireland, Dublin
- Sandra McIntyre, Foróige, Cavan
- Ciara Dowling, Serve the City, Dublin
- John Murray, COVID-19 Test Centre, Kildare
- Róisín Kilgannon, Dromore West Sings, Sligo
Environmental and Animal Care
- Frank Glynn, Milltown Tidy Towns; Milltown Heritage Group; and Milltown Development Company, Galway
- Julie Boulton, National Homechecks for Rescues Ireland, Laois
- Shay Hamilton, Athlone Tidy Towns and Athlone Canal Regeneration Group, Westmeath
Health and Wellbeing
- Margaret Hurley, Irish Wheelchair Association, Clare
- Maureen Keenaghan, The Alzheimer Society and Ballyshannon Community Garden, Donegal
- William Cummings, Be Aware, Be Safe – Inner City Helping Homeless, Dublin
Safety and Emergency Services
- Alec Fitzmaurice, David McGrath and Fergal McGrath, RNLI, Waterford
- Arthur and Deborah Carr, Claddagh Watch Patrol, Galway
- John Fitzgerald, National Ambulance Service, Kildare
Social Inclusion and Community Support
- Geraldine Molloy, Inner City Helping Homeless, Dublin
- Noelle Fitzsimons, Victim Support at Court, Dublin
- Pauline Matthews, Age Action Ireland, Cork
Sports and Recreation
- Beryl Kelly, Special Olympics Ireland, Wexford
- John Foley, Kilgarvan GAA Hurling and Football Club, Kerry
- Mick Hennessey, Clane Rugby and Tennis Clubs, Kildare
- Fiona McCaffrey Jones and Mary McCrystal, Truagh Development Association, Monaghan
- Nicola Yau, St Joseph’s Shankill, Dublin
- Rachel Fitzpatrick, Friends of the Elderly, Dublin
- Achill Community Response Centre, Mayo
- Comfort4Covid, Dublin
- South Dublin County Volunteer Corps – COVID-19 Test Centre Volunteers, Dublin
Small Group (3-20)
- Ballyhaunis Inclusion Project, Mayo
- Irish Cancer Society – Survivor Support Parent Volunteers, Dublin
- Irish Red Cross – D15 Unit, Dublin
Large Group (20+)
- ALONE Telephone Support and Befriending Volunteers, Nationwide
- Muslim Sisters of Eire, Dublin
- Serve the City, Dublin