Daniel Ritchie

from Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim, a sixth year student in Carrickfergus Grammar School was motivated to do more for his community through the YMCA and had several discussions with his leaders there as to how he could apply his skills. Daniel knew from his personal experience with having a parent with a disability that there was a real need for help in this area.

Daniel dedicated his time to the YMCA youth club and to the Get Set for Community Action programme which was supported by the British Olympic Committee. The Get Set programme involved the roll out of two Olympic-themed events for two vastly different groups; 100 adults with severe mental and physical disabilities known as Carrickfergus Senior Gateway, and the 30 elderly residents of One Irish Gate in Carrickfergus. Daniel helped design and activate a Mini-Olympic night for Gateway with appropriately adapted activities for all the disabilities of participants to ensure that all 100 could take part and enjoy the event and have a positive experience. He also devised an Olympic-themed quiz for the elderly residents of One Irish Gate. He took this challenge very seriously, dedicating hours of his time to delivering questions that could be understood by residents but that would also challenge and intrigue them.

“Daniel is a gem,” says School principal Kieran Mulvenna. “He is a quiet, self-effacing, earnest young man with an uncommon level of emotional maturity.  His empathy with those in need goes beyond his own family and friendship group and is the basis for his enduring commitment to community service.  I know that he will continue to give his best, quietly and caringly.”