Nominations now open in the search for the best volunteers

By William O'Connor

The Search Is On now for South Dublin’s Best Volunteers, reports William O’Connor.

South Dublin County Volunteer Centre announced that nominations for the tenth annual Volunteer Ireland Awards are now open.

Vounteer Awards 31092017

The awards are open to volunteers of all ages in the Republic of Ireland. There are ten different award categories, along with the prestigious Christine Buckley Volunteer of the Year award.

Speaking at the launch, South Dublin County Volunteer Centre Manager, Tricia Nolan said, “People from all walks of life, all ages and all backgrounds volunteer.

These awards provide an opportunity to showcase this diverse group of people and say thank you for their remarkable work. We have seen award nominees from as young as nine to as old as eighty and from as far away as Zambia and East Timor. What connects them all is the immense contribution to Irish society that they make.”

“Volunteer Ireland’s recent report on volunteering and well-being showed that a critical factor that contributes to a positive volunteering experience was the feeling of being valued and appreciated. We encourage organisations to show appreciation for their volunteers every day and these awards shine a light on volunteers around the country by celebrating our local volunteers on a national level.”

“The report also showed that volunteering has a positive impact on volunteers with 55 per cent of volunteers experiencing an increase in their mental health and well-being and 65 per cent experiencing an increase in their self-esteem.

Although volunteers reap many benefits from volunteering, they typically never look for recognition or shout about what they do. That’s why we need the public’s help. We’re calling on members of the public now to say ‘thank you’ to their local volunteers by nominating an outstanding volunteer or group of volunteers they know.”

Anyone can nominate a volunteer, and the ten categories are: Animals and Environment, Arts, Culture and Media, Campaigning and Awareness Raising, Children and Youth, Community, Safety and Emergency Services, Health and Disability, Social Work and Social Inclusion, Sports and Recreation and Outstanding Group.

This year sees the introduction of a new award for groups, to recognise the teams of volunteers across the country that work together to make a difference. There will also be a special commendation for Volunteer Manager of the Year. Every single person nominated for an award will receive a special ‘thank you’ card from Volunteer Ireland.

All shortlisted applicants are automatically eligible for the overall Volunteer of the Year Award. Nominations close at midnight on Friday, October 6 and can be made online at www.volunteer.ie. The Christine Buckley Volunteer of the Year Award, along with the ten category winners, will be announced at a gala awards ceremony on Friday, December 1 in the Radisson Hotel, Sligo.

The event fittingly coincides with the closing ceremony that ends Sligo’s year as the European Volunteering Capital. All shortlisted nominees along with their guests will be invited to the ceremony to enjoy a much-deserved night of celebration.

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