Eimear Mansfield

from Waterford, Co. Waterford, a fifth year student at Newtown School, Waterford, was inspired to volunteer after a visit by Jonathan Irwin of the Jack and Jill Foundation to her school. She was deeply affected by the story of his son Jack and was motivated to do what she could to make a difference to the lives of children and their families.

Eimear set up an initiative called ‘Hares on the March Waterford’ with her classmates which was a variation of the existing Dublin initiative. The project was logistically challenging as it involved sending plain hare statues to different schools in the area to be decorated by students, sponsorship by local businesses, and finally, placing the hares at different locations across the town as landmarks on a 5km fitness trail. To do so, Eimear liaised with primary and secondary schools, scouted key locations and secured permission at high-profile spots with high footfall such as the Waterford Crystal Visitors Centre, and also negotiated sponsorship with local businesses. The project raised nearly €14,000 for the Jack and Jill Foundation, and Eimear continues to raise awareness of the charity through talks and presentations in surrounding schools.

“Eimear was a superb leader in the Hares on the March Project,” said School principal Keith Lemon. “She inspired the rest of the TY students to work with her and create a project that was one of the most talked about and unique projects ever done in our school by TY students.”