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Tuesday, 19th October 2021

Louth Volunteer Leader Awards celebrating legendary leaders in our community

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Last year’s Drogheda/South Louth winner of the Louth Volunteer Leader Awards was Ann Shortt of the Alzheimer’s Society Drogheda branch.

Behind every great group of volunteers there is a great volunteer leader, someone who provides volunteers with a positive experience; coordinates and organises voluntary work so that the right work is being done in the right place for our community; the listening ear for volunteers when they face challenges.

However, we rarely see or recognise this work that goes on behind the scenes and means our tidy towns, voluntary heritage, community services, men’s sheds and other groups keep going.

Louth Volunteer Centre want to bring these local heroes out into the light and have just extended the closing date for their Louth Volunteer Leaders’ Awards.

Everyone who is nominated for an award will receive a thank you card and certificate and will be invited to a breakfast event on Friday the 5th November. Five nominees will be selected to receive the Louth Volunteer Leader of the Year Award, a beautiful piece commissioned from Sarah McKenna, a Ceramic artist based in Dundalk, awardees will be announced at the event on the 5th November.

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Gráinne Berrill, Manager of Louth Volunteer Centre said “Everyone knows someone who leads volunteers in their community, they just might not realise it! Is there someone in your local club who always makes sure the stewards have a hot cup of tea when they come in from the cold?

Do you know someone who organises everyone to get out for the annual litter clean in your estate? Is there a staff member in a local community organisation who makes sure there are enough volunteers available on a helpline so that support is available for those who need it?

We’d love for those people to be nominated for a Louth Volunteer Leader Award so that they can know that what they do is recognised and appreciated”.

This is the second year of the Louth Volunteer Leader awards, last year’s deserving Drogheda/South Louth winner was Ann Shortt of the Alzheimer’s Society Drogheda branch.

This year there are two new categories, one to recognise those who lead young volunteers and another to recognise a volunteer leader who has had a positive impact during COVID19.

Young people are our active citizens of the future, we want to acknowledge the people in our community who encourage, support and involve young people in volunteering – this could be the charity shop manager who really supports volunteers who are under 18; the Scout Troop leader who comes up with new and interesting ways for their members to support the community; or even a teacher who is passionate about community and provides their students with a variety of opportunities to volunteer.” noted Gráinne, she also said

“The importance of volunteers to our community during COVID19 cannot be underestimated, but the importance for those volunteers in feeling supported was also essential. That might even be just keeping in touch with volunteers whose activity had stopped due to the pandemic, so that their volunteers knew what was going on and were ready to restart volunteering as the country reopened, that’s why we have added this category this year, to acknowledge and appreciate those volunteer leaders.”

The awards are sponsored by the Department of Rural and Community Development. Judges are Gerry Kelly of LMFM; Amy Woods, Acting CEO of Volunteer Ireland and Mary Deery, Louth County Council Community Development Officer and Volunteer Ireland.

Nominations are submitted through www.volunteerlouth.ie and the closing date for submission is midnight Tuesday 26th October 2021. If you have any questions about the awards or want to find out more about volunteering in Louth contact the Louth Volunteer Centre team at 041 9809 008 or info@volunteerlouth.ie

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