From now until the first of October, we are calling on you to nominate exceptional, ‘superhero’ volunteers deserving of the honour and recognition of the national volunteering awards. One outstanding nominee will be named Christine Buckley Volunteer of the Year in December. 

According to Ciara Herity, Sligo Volunteer Centre Manager “We have an impressive culture of volunteering and this year has proved that more than ever. Volunteers across the country helped their communities from getting shopping for those cocooning to making masks to manning HSE test centres. Volunteers have been at the heart of our response to this pandemic and we are forever in their debt. These awards are an excellent opportunity to recognise their immense contributions to the Sligo community and to demonstrate that they are truly appreciated.”

Three awardees will be selected in each of 12 categories. One person will be named Ireland’s Volunteer of The Year. This year also sees the introduction of a special COVID-19 category to recognise the extraordinary contribution of volunteers throughout the pandemic. Anyone can nominate a volunteer, and there are twelve categories:  

  • Arts, Culture & Festivals
  • Campaigning & Activism 
  • Children & Youth 
  • Environmental & Animal Care
  • Health & Wellbeing 
  • Safety & Emergency Services 
  • Social Inclusion & Community Support 
  • Sports & Recreations 
  • COVID-19 
  • Small Group (3-20 volunteers)
  • Large Group (20+ volunteers)
  • Volunteer Manager

Joe O’Brien TD, Minister of State for Community Development and Charities, added “I am delighted, that through my Department’s Scheme to Support and Strengthen Volunteering, I am able to support the launching of these awards. It is a great achievement for Volunteer Ireland in what has been an extraordinary time in our country. The recent challenges that COVID-19 has brought to the sector have shown just how resilient our volunteers are. Without their selfless contribution of time and energy, much of what we take for granted in terms of our society would not happen. The Volunteer Ireland Awards aim to shine a light on the remarkable work of volunteers across the country by celebrating them at a national level. If you know a volunteer or a voluntary organisation that does tremendous work either during the pandemic or all year round, then please nominate them for an award.”

All awardees are automatically eligible for the overall Volunteer of the Year Award. Nominations close at midnight on Thursday, October 1st. The Christine Buckley Volunteer of the Year Award and the 36 awardees will be honoured with special deliveries to their homes or place of volunteering where they can celebrate with family, friends and fellow volunteers. Nominations can be made here.