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Volunteer Ireland Awards

Every autumn people from all over Ireland nominate their neighbors, family, friends, colleagues and community supporters for the chance to win a Volunteer Ireland Award and nominations for 2019 are now open!

Make a Nomination

The awards present the perfect opportunity to show volunteers how much their dedication means to their communities and the causes they support.

The Volunteer Ireland Awards took place in December, celebrating an inspiring group of volunteers, with a unique set of stories. The overall Volunteer of The Year Award 2018 was presented to Mary Fitzgerald.

The 2019 Volunteer Ireland Awards are supported by Healthy Ireland. We are delighted to have a like-minded partner who shares our passion for volunteering as a positive force for health and well-being. You can learn more about the Healthy Ireland programme here.


We would like to thank the Department of Rural and Community Development for their kind support of the Volunteer Ireland Awards.


Why We Celebrate Volunteers

Positive volunteering has transformational power.

The Volunteer Ireland Awards are the major annual initiative to celebrate volunteers in Ireland. The awards shine a light on the remarkable achievements of volunteers around the country by honouring them at a national level. Volunteer Ireland is proud to have President Michael D. Higgins as Patron of the Awards.

Volunteering is vital and valuable to Irish society and is recognized as a way to better social cohesion, mental health and well-being, inclusion and connectedness within communities. The awards are a unique opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to ordinary people doing these extraordinary things.

About The Awards

The awards begin with a public call for nominations. Anyone can nominate a volunteer, someone they know who gives their time and energy voluntarily and without pay. The Volunteer Ireland Awards are open to volunteers of all ages working with Irish volunteer-involving organisations.

There are 11 categories reflecting the different facets of volunteering, such as, social inclusion, sport, safety, youth work and including an “Outstanding Groups” category. The final category recognises the important work of volunteer managers, this category is separate as the nominee can be in a paid or unpaid role.

All nominations are carefully read by our judges and shortlisting panel. The category winners and the Volunteer of The Year are announced at a gala event in December, which is attended by the shortlisted volunteers and their supporters.

We hope to recognise as many volunteers as possible. Those who are nominated but who are not shortlisted for an award will receive a thank you card from Volunteer Ireland. We want to let everyone who is nominated know that their contributions are greatly valued and that someone took the time to put them forward for an award.

Make a Nomination


Award Categories

There are 11 categories in the Volunteer Ireland Awards, as well as an overall Volunteer of The Year award winner. Individuals, groups and volunteer managers can all be nominated.
Learn more…


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