Pramerica embarks on Ireland-wide search for all-Ireland youth volunteers of the year
Author and DJ Nikki Hayes has launched the search for Ireland’s top young volunteers as the Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards opens for applications for the 2018 programme,
The only youth initiative of its kind, the awards launched with a panel discussion at Pramerica’s head offices in Letterkenny focusing on the role volunteerism plays in some of today’s biggest societal challenges including homelessness and mental health. Panellists included past and present honourees as well as representatives from each of the key charity areas.
Overseeing the event Nikki Hayes spoke first hand of the impact volunteering has had on her life and the importance of encouraging and educating young people about the benefits of volunteering in the local community. “As someone who has experienced mental health issues throughout my life I am well aware of the devastating effect it can have on the people around you. It has also been well documented that Irish young people have higher rates of mental health difficulties than their peers in Europe and the USA. What is special about this awards programme is that it recognises the young volunteers helping their peers in their own community to overcome their problems and face the future together.”
The Awards which run in partnership with the National Association of Principals & Deputy Principals (NAPD) and the General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI) are open for online submissions until 20th October 2017. Principals then have until 10th November to nominate up to two students from their school for national-level recognition, from which 20 finalists will be selected to go forward to national judging. Two overall winners will then be announced at a gala awards ceremony in March 2018, were the All-Ireland Youth Volunteers of the Year will be awarded €1,000 each for their chosen charity and a trip to Washington, D.C. for the annual international Prudential Spirit of Community Awards celebration. The 20 finalists will all be awarded €500 for their charities at the ceremony.
Commenting on the programme,Ciaran Harvey Managing Director and CIO, Pramerica, said, “At Pramerica we believe in supporting young people in our society and over the past 12 years we have honoured over 2000 volunteers from 300 schools across the island of Ireland. As we open the 2018 Awards we would encourage all school principals to shine a light on their pupils’ volunteering activities and we are very much looking forward to hearing the inspirational stories from today’s young leaders who are committed to making a difference in their local communities,”
The programme is also supported by notable organisations including Volunteer Now, Volunteer Ireland, Foróige and Scouting Ireland.
are now open at www.pramerica.ie/spirit and 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.
o Each school principal/deputy principal at this stage will have selected a maximum of two applications to go forward for national judging.
• Announcement of Top 20 finalists: February 2018
• Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards Gala Dinner: March 2018
• Two All-Ireland Youth Volunteers of the Year to travel to Washington, D.C.: May 2017
Students honoured at 2017 Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards gala and receive personal congratulations from guest speaker Jordi Murphy
Two youth volunteers whose work includes raising awareness of organ donation and volunteering with the homeless have been announced as the winners of the 2017 Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards.
For the exemplary work they carry out in their local communities, Emily Duffy from Newcastle West in Co. Limerick and Lucia Quinney Mee,from Ballycastle, Co Antrim were selected from amongst hundreds of youth volunteers from across the island of Ireland and recognized at last night’s gala awards’ ceremony, held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dublin.
Emily and Lucia each received €1,000 for a charity of their choice, a gold medallion and a crystal trophy for their school which were presented by Irish International rugby player Jordi Murphy. In May, they will both travel on an all-expenses paid trip to Washington D.C. to meet up with youth volunteers from across America and participate in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards ceremony.
Emily, 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.
From Ballycastle in Co. Antrim, Lucia, a sixth year student at Cross and Passion College, had her first liver transplant at the age of eight. Following two additional transplants, Lucia is extremely passionate about the incredible gift that organ donation is and in 2015 set up the campaign ‘Live Loudly Donate Proudly’. Lucia believes that education is key and strives to get organ donation onto the national school curriculum to encourage young people to have educated conversations with family and friends regarding their decision about organ donation. A keen swimmer, Lucia has also competed in the British and World Transplant Games which highlights that the gift of life allows people not only to live, but to thrive. Having just been selected for the 2017 World Transplant Games in Malaga, she wants to make organ donation the norm rather than the exception with ordinary conversations leading to extraordinary gifts.
The only all-Ireland youth initiative of its kind, the Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards programme recognises young people for their motivation, service and impact on their local communities across the island of Ireland. Also highly commended in the junior category were Daniel Ritchie from Carrickfergus and Aishling Dunphy from Co Tipperary.
“I feel honoured to have met such dedicated and committed young people who give their free time to helping others in their communities,” commentated Jordi Murphy. “Emily and Lucia are extraordinary youth ambassadors and it has been a pleasure to recognise and celebrate their accomplishments. It is testament to all of the finalist’s characters to be shortlisted for these awards and I hope these young people continue to inspire others like them to give back to their local community and further afield.”
The programme is run in partnership with The National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD), The General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI), with support from Scouting Ireland and Foróige.
“Emily and Lucia are inspiring individuals and wonderful role models in their local communities”, said Andrea McBride, vice president, Pramerica Systems Ireland. “These awards are designed to showcase young people’s commitment to volunteerism and tonight’s 20 finalists are no exception. It’s humbling to see the commitment and dedication from these young people, and we are honoured to recognise the volunteering they are doing in their local schools, communities and abroad to make the lives better of those less fortunate than themselves.”
The selection committee that chose the two All-Ireland Youth Volunteers of the Year were:
Andrea McBride, Vice President - Systems, Pramerica Systems Ireland, Clive Byrne, Director of NAPD, David Canning, Interim -Chairperson of GTCNI, Wendy Osborne, OBE and Chief Executive of Volunteer Now, Sean Campbell, CEO, Foróige, and Kieran Cody, Scouting Ireland.
The 2017 Finalists included:
- Emily Duffy, Newcastle West, Co. Limerick
- Ashling Dunphy, Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary
- Eric Flaherty, Portumna, Co. Galway
- Lisa Gallagher, Belmullet, Co. Mayo
- Chelsea Gibson, Cashel, Co. Tipperary
- Aoife Gillespie, Stranorlar, Co. Donegal
- Chantelle Hutchinson, Belfast, Co. Antrim
- Bartek Karpinski, Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan
- Hannah Lyons, Eglinton, Co. Derry~Londonderry
- Caitlin Kane, Belfast, Co. Antrim
- Eoghan Kenny, Mallow, Co. Cork
- Cliodhna Malone, Newbridge, Co. Kildare
- Eimear Mansfield, Waterford City, Co. Waterford
- Rachel McGowan, Co. Derry~Londonderry
- Matthew McNeive, Knock, Co. Mayo
- Dylan Nesbitt, Convoy, Co. Donegal
- Olivia Price, Belfast, Co. Antrim
- Lucia Quinney Mee, Ballycastle, Co. Antrim
- Daniel Ritchie, Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim
- Martha Tuohy, Portumna, Co. Galway
For more information about the 2017 Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards, follow the Pramerica Spirit of Community Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter feed @Pramerica_SOC, or visit spirit.pramerica.ie
#SOCAwards2017 Honorees announced!
Youth volunteers from across the island of Ireland whose work includes volunteering with the homeless, and raising awareness of organ donation have today been announced as the finalists of the 2017 Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards.
James Butler, blogger, social media expert and volunteer, was on hand to help launch this year’s awards.
One of Ireland’s most revered athletes, Mark English from Letterkenny was on hand to launch this year’s awards.
One of Ireland’s most revered athletes, Mark English from Letterkenny was on hand to launch this year’s awards.
Students honored at 2016 Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards gala by guest presenter Bressie
For the exemplary work they carry out in their local communities, Cian O’Grady from Co Limerick and Carla McErlean from Co Derry have been selected from amongst hundreds of youth volunteers as All Ireland Youth Volunteers of the Year in the 2016 Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards .
Meet our #SOCAwards2017 Honorees
This years honoree's are an inspiring bunch! From helping the homeless to volunteering with their local GAA clubs, they positively contribute to their communities on a daily basis.
Click here to meet the #SOCAwards2017 Honorees!
Multi-platinum selling songwriter and music producer Niall Breslin (Bressie) took time out from coaching on The Voice of Ireland to honour Ireland’s top youth volunteers at the 2016 Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards at Lough Eske Castle Hotel & Spa, Donegal on 10th March 2016.
Twenty youth volunteers from across the island of Ireland have today been announced as the finalists of the 2016 Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards, The only all-Ireland youth initiative of its kind which rewards post-primary students for outstanding acts of volunteerism and the positive contribution they make in their local communities and further afield.
Teenagers Honoured by former New Zealand rugby player, coach and pundit Brent Pope
Michael Keohane, from St. Fachtna's De La Salle, Skibbereen and Sophie Donnelly, from Presentation Secondary School, Wexford have been selected from amongst hundreds of youth volunteers from across the island of Ireland to receive the title of All Ireland Youth Volunteers of the Year at the 2015 Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards for the exemplary work they carry out in their local communities.
Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards to honour young volunteers from across the island of Ireland
Ireland’s top 20 youth volunteers have been announced as the Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards, the only all-Ireland youth initiative of its kind, recognises young people for their motivation, service and impact on their local community across the Island of Ireland.