Volunteers Celebrated at Galway City Mayor’s Awards Ceremony
The winners of Galway City Council’s Mayor’s Awards have been announced.
Speaking at an awards ceremony at the Galway Bay Hotel, the Mayor of Galway City, Cllr. Clodagh Higgins said that Galway City Council was proud to honour and celebrate the many people who work quietly behind the scenes to make their communities stronger, more vibrant, often inspiring and motivating to others.
Speaking on the winners and nominees at the awards, Mayor Clodagh Higgins commented:
“The Mayor’s Awards provide an opportunity to acknowledge people who commit time and effort to make their community a better place. We all know people who despite their incredibly busy lives still find time to support neighbours, local groups and communities in a very significant way. On this, the twentieth year of the Awards, I am delighted to acknowledge and celebrate true community spirit as per the long-established Irish meitheal that brings communities together”.
The Mayor also noted that "Of all ages and from all backgrounds, they all share one important characteristic: they give freely and generously of their time to make life better for their communities."
Galway City Council would like all volunteers to know their contribution is very much appreciated and that volunteering is celebrated for its inherent value to our society, helping to develop vibrant, inclusive and sustainable communities.
Almost 80 individuals and groups, who were nominated across all categories received an individually designed Certificate from the Mayor in recognition of their voluntary activity in community life across the city.
The list of award winners in the various categories is as follows.
Arts, Culture, Heritage & Cúrsaí Gaeilge Award:
Bádóirí an Chladaigh for their strong boating tradition to ensure the continuous upkeep and restructure of our heritage boats, the Galway Hookers. They keep the boating tradition and heritage alive and thriving in Galway City for everyone to enjoy and embrace.
Neighbourhood Community Champion Award:
Ballinfoile Community Remembrance Garden for their efforts in providing a beautiful peaceful space where local people can come together and take time to reflect and remember those who have unfortunately passed away.
Community Service & Social Inclusion (Individual) Award:
Laura McDermott for her voluntary efforts to try and improve the quality of life of residents living in direct provision. She supports many families by contributing to the distribution of in-kind donations to children on special occasions.
Community Service & Social Inclusion (Group) Award: (Joint Winners)
Blood Bike West for their enduring support to Public and Private Healthcare services in the transport and delivery of Blood, other samples, and medical equipment throughout the 32 counties.
United Women Galway for their continued support for the migrant women living in direct provision in Galway City. Driven by social inclusion values, this group have provided incredible support, offering hope and positivity to their community. They are an example of all that is positive about diversity in Galway city.
Older Person Volunteer of the Year Award:
Frank Downes and Zander - Frank has worked as a volunteer for the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind for the past 44 years. Frank has worked tirelessly in fundraising events with the Irish Guide Dogs raising over €3m for the charity which helps to support visually impaired clients and families of children with autism.
Environmental Sustainability Award:
Sliabh Rua Residents Association for their trojan work in putting this group together and undertaking a huge amount of work in a very short period of time. They have made a measurable contribution to the community with the environmental improvements involving planting new flowers and trees in the estate and leaving a positive impact on the environment.
Sports Volunteer of the Year Award:
Natasha Zgadova for her kind and enthusiastic manner which has played a huge part in getting the club to where it is today, by introducing Judo to the migrant community and especially the Eastern European sector and making it easier for them to be a key part of the wider community.
Children and Youth Support Award:
Galway Sick Kids Foundation - This is a local based small group of volunteers who fundraise so that projects could be undertaken in St Bernadette’s Paediatric unit. To date they have raised and spent approximately €80,000 for the unit and last year through their voluntary fundraising activities the Charity supplied the unit with a Sensory Cubbie Unit and a wheelchair accessible swing in the playground.
Young Volunteer of the Year Award:
Sláinte Society- University of Galway – are the proud organisers of the annual Teddy Bear Hospital with over 200 volunteers giving up their time to help run the event. The volunteers of Sláinte Society are selfless with good humour and kind nature towards over 1,000 children that attend and leave the event with less fears and anxieties when visiting a healthcare environment in the future.
The Galway City Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Stephen Cullinane, Brian & Lisa Higginbotham in recognition of the charity funding that they have raised to date with over €400,000 raised for various charities over the years. For their generosity of time, energy, devotion and determination for what they are fundraising for and all it offers to the people of Galway and across the Country.
The winners were presented with a beautiful piece of crystal, made by Galway Crystal.
Media queries: Theresa Donohue, Community Department, Galway City Council 091 536460