Emily Duffy

from Newcastle West, Co.  Limerick, a sixth year student at Desmond College, volunteers with the Mendicity charity and developed the Duffily bag designed to protect homeless people that is now manufactured by service users of the charity. 

Emily was initially moved by the high levels of homelessness in her community which she learnt about through her school, and was motivated by the struggles faced by homeless people daily. She began volunteering with Mendicity, a charity that employs homeless men and helps enable them to start a new life. Working closely with the service users, Emily ensured that her invention met their needs and requirements and also developed a production process with them to ensure efficient production. Emily spent countless hours on the final design and production of the Duffily Bag that now protects homeless people from the harsh conditions they experience living on the streets. She also undertook a significant fundraising campaign to allow for the distribution of the bags and together with a mentor, has also had the bags delivered to refugee camps in Calais and Dunkirk.

“Emily has made a difference to our world. Her actions have improved the lives of countless people, said School principal Vourneen Gavin Barry. “There was no gain or advantage in this for Emily except that she wants to make the world a better place. She is a wonderful young woman.”