National Volunteer Awards to Recognise Exceptional Year of Volunteering

Presenter and writer, James Kavanagh, today kicked off the 2020 Volunteer Ireland Awards campaign. From now until 1st October, we are calling on the public to nominate exceptional volunteers deserving of the honour and recognition of the national volunteering awards. One outstanding nominee will be named Christine Buckley Volunteer of the Year in December.  

According to Volunteer Ireland CEO Nina Arwitz “We have an incomparable culture of volunteering here in Ireland and this year has proved that more than ever. Thousands of people across the country put up their hands to help their communities from getting shopping for those cocooning to making masks to manning HSE test centres. Volunteers have been at the heart of our response to this pandemic and we are forever in their debt.” 

“While this has been an exceptional year, people all over Ireland give their time all year round for great causes that otherwise might not survive without their help. These awards are our opportunity to recognise the immense contribution volunteers make to our communities and show them that they are truly appreciated.” 

Three awardees will be selected in each of the 12 categories and one person will be named Ireland’s Volunteer of The Year. This year also sees the introduction of a special COVID-19 category to recognise the extraordinary contribution of volunteers throughout the pandemic. 

Joe O’Brien TD, Minister of State for Community Development and Charities, added “I am delighted, that through my Department’s Scheme to Support and Strengthen Volunteering, I am able to support the launching of these awards. It is a great achievement for Volunteer Ireland in what has been an extraordinary time in our country. The recent challenges that COVID-19 has brought to the sector has shown just how resilient our volunteers are. Without their selfless contribution of time and energy, much of what we take for granted in terms of our society would not happen. The Volunteer Ireland Awards aim to shine a light on the remarkable work of volunteers across the country by celebrating them at national level. If you know a volunteer or a voluntary organisation that does tremendous work either during the pandemic or all year round, then please nominate them for an award.” 

Every nominee will receive a special thank you card from Volunteer Ireland. In order to avoid a large gathering, awardees will be celebrated with a special delivery at their home or in their place of volunteering, where they will be cheered on and celebrated by a small group of their family, friends and fellow volunteers. 

Nominations can be made online here

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