Monaghan Integrated Development (MID) Chairperson, Mary Mullen, has revealed the winners of the 2016 Volunteer of the Year Awards. Speaking to the Northern Standard Mary stated, “This year we were able to award a first, second and third prize and I am delighted with the winners chosen by the judging panel. Each reflects the very best aspects of volunteering in our county.”
In first place were five ladies who have contributed their voluntary services to the Clones Daycare Centre for over 20 years or more each. They are, Dolores McGuigan; Mary Connolly; Anne Rooney; Agnes Sherry and Kathleen Leonard. All have given their time freely to the Daycare Centre to ensure that the elderly in their community are looked after. They recently retired from their voluntary activities, but are hopeful that other volunteers will come forward to look after the elderly with the same loyalty and dedication.
Second place went to the Riding for the Disabled volunteers led by Marese McCarra. Marese operates the Mullaghmore Equestrian Centre. However, twice a week she gives her time freely to organize a team of volunteers to provide riding classes for riders with a disability. The parents of children with a disability who take part in the horse riding said it made a huge difference to the lives of their children. They were glowing in their praise of Marese and the volunteers, many of whom are young teenagers.
Third place was awarded to a very recently formed group, Castleblayney Community First Responders, led by Gerry Ward. This group started in 2015, has 29 members and is still growing. The responders are literal proof that volunteering can save your life. Without their intervention in the crucial early minutes of an emergency, many lives would be lost.
All the winners will be presented with their awards at events within their own groups before the end of the year.
MID CEO, Mr Gabriel O’Connell, stated that “it is very important that we never take volunteers and voluntary activity in our communities for granted. Recognizing the achievements of our volunteers with these awards is just one small way of saying thanks on behalf of the community.”