Ireland’s Top 20 Youth Volunteers honoured for giving back to their communities

Ireland’s Top 20 Youth Volunteers honoured for giving back to their communities

3 February 2020

Twenty exceptional young people from across Ireland have been recognised as some of the country’s most outstanding youth volunteers who are working to make a positive impact on their local communities.

The local students were revealed as Pramerica announced its top 20 finalists for the 2020 Spirit of Community Awards, the only all-Ireland youth initiative of its kind that rewards post-primary students for their exemplary acts of volunteerism.

Passionate about a range of topics including homelessness, mental health, disabled rights, climate change, animal cruelty plus many more, the 20 finalists will gather for this year’s awards which will take place at Titanic, Belfast on Tuesday 31st March.

The programme, which is run in partnership with the National Association of Principals & Deputy Principals (NAPD) and the General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI), is one of Ireland’s largest youth recognition programmes. This year’s awards received a remarkable 250 applications from across Ireland.

Carefully chosen by a judging panel, including people from charitable organisations, education and Pramerica, the lucky top 20 finalists will each be presented with €500 at the Awards ceremony. Not only that but the top two Junior Honourees will also receive an additional €500 for their chosen charity and two of the 20 students will be named All-Ireland Youth Volunteers of the Year. These two students will each receive €1,000 for their chosen charity, a gold medallion, a crystal trophy for their school and an all-expenses paid trip to the United States in May to participate in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards ceremonies.

Naomi Hegarty, Vice President of Risk, Pramerica Systems Ireland is overwhelmed with the selfless work being carried out by young people across Ireland.

“Year upon year I continue to be humbled by the incredible volunteer work carried out by young people in towns and villages across Ireland. The 20 finalists selected as part of this year’s awards programme are proudly taking a stand for what they believe in and actively empowering others to do the same. Our awards programme celebrates these passionate and dedicated young people and aims to give them the recognition and voice they truly deserve”.

“At Pramerica we are committed to supporting youth volunteers and understand that even the smallest of contributions can make a big difference to those who are in need and vulnerable. In sacrificing their spare time to give back to their community, these young people are showing that they genuinely care, and we want to make sure that their selfless good deeds don’t go unnoticed. We cannot wait to welcome all of the chosen finalists to the awards ceremony in Titanic, Belfast on 31st March of this year.”

For updates on this year’s awards, like the Pramerica Spirit of Community Facebook page, join the conversation on Twitter, or follow us on Instagram.

The 20 Pramerica Spirit of Community finalists are:
  • Lidia Ballocchi, Sixth Year, Assumption Grammar School, Co. Down
  • Sasha Barrett-Ferris, Sixth Year, Sullivan Upper School, Co. Down
  • Gavin Bennett, Third Year, Ard Scoil Chiarain Naofa, Co. Offaly
  • Jemma Campbell Sixth Year, Our Lady and St Patrick's College, Co. Antrim
  • Rebecca Colley, Sixth Year, Castleknock Community College, Co. Dublin
  • Jessica Collins, Fourth Year, Skibbereen Community School, Co. Cork
  • Keira Culleton, Third year, Loreto College, Co. Derry
  • Jamie Duffy, Sixth Year, Beech Hill College, Co. Monaghan
  • Lauren Gaynor, Sixth Year, Loreto Grammar School, Co. Tyrone
  • Charlotte Gallaher, First Year, Our Lady’s School, Co. Dublin
  • Liadh Hanley, Sixth Year, St. Angela's College, Co. Cork
  • Rebecca Irvine, Sixth Year, Carrickfergus Grammar School, Co. Antrim
  • Grainne McGlynn, Fourth Year, Rosses Community School, Co. Donegal
  • Julie Reddan, Sixth Year, Borrisokane Community College, Co. Tipperary
  • Jake Redmond, Sixth Year, Larkin Community College, Co. Dublin
  • Aurora Riddiough, Fifth year, Ballycastle High School, Co. Antrim
  • Sophia Shally, Third Year, St Louis Community School, Co. Mayo
  • Aaron Smith, Sixth Year, St Louise's Comprehensive College, Co. Antrim
  • Emma Smyth, Sixth Year, St Louis Grammar School, Co. Antrim
  • Teagan Stanley, Fifth Year, Newtown School, Co. Waterford