From now until 4th October, we are calling on the people of Kerry to nominate a volunteer they feel is deserving of a national Volunteer Ireland Award. One outstanding nominee will be named Christine Buckley Volunteer of the Year at a special ceremony in December. Volunteers are the lifeblood of Irish society and we are proud to have a strong culture of volunteering in Kerry. Without them, many of the things we take for granted simply wouldn't exist. It’s hard to think of an area in the county that doesn't benefit from volunteers - from meals on wheels to sport, supporting vulnerable people or enhancing our towns and villages, volunteers are the biggest heroes we have. But they are unsung heroes, and with these awards we want to shine a light on the amazing people who give so much to Kerry without any expectation of thanks or glory.
From over 500 nominations, 30 exceptional volunteers and 3 outstanding groups of volunteers have been shortlisted for this year’s Volunteer Ireland Awards including George and Mary Sugrue from Kerry. 2017 marks an extremely special year for the Volunteer Ireland Awards. Not only are they celebrating their tenth year, they will also form part of the prestigious closing ceremony of Sligo’s designation as European Volunteering Capital.
The awards aim to celebrate the extraordinary dedication that nominees have shown to help others, often taking time away from family and friends to give back. From those new to Ireland, husband and wife duos and local community stalwarts, we are lucky enough to have so many exceptional volunteers in Ireland. George and Mary, from Tralee, are one such example:
WHEN most people think of the Kerry Cancer Support Group, set up in 2007, the Kerry Cork Health Link Bus springs to mind and it’s no surprise. The bus, which transports cancer patients to and from hospital appointments, has become a regular sight on the road to Cork. The bus remains the groups “signature service” and it operates to and from CUH every day, empowering patients to attend radiotherapy appointments. It also facilities appointments in the nearby Bons Secours, Cork Clinic and on occasion the Mercy Hospital depending on patients needs.
Yet, what many people may not be aware of are the many additional and new services the group now provides thanks to the support of it’s team of voluntary fundraisers, drivers and committee members. One of the less well know services offered through the Kerry Cancer Support Group is it’s education, information and awareness work: “We go to the secondary schools, to groups, anyone really who wants us to come and speak to them in Kerry- in and around awareness, know your body and prevention” explained Breda Dyland, Manager of the Kerry Cancer Support Group.
The Central Statistics Office are currently carrying out a public consultation on the types of questions that will be asked in Census 2021. There was a question on volunteering in 2006, but it was not included in the 2016 Census, much to our disappointment. As such, Kerry Volunteer Centre is asking for your support in getting Volunteering back into the Census-the deadline for submissions is November 3rd, so there is not much time left.
We would love it if you were able to make a submission to the CSO supporting putting Volunteering related questions back into the Census. To make it as easy as possible, you can just cut and paste the text from our submission below and submit it at https://surveys.cso.ie/jfe/form/SV_3CtoRPfCjau7YPz - it shouldn’t take more than a minute. Kerry Volunteer Centres' submission is written to adhere to the framework of the consultation and makes what Kerry Volunteer Centre believe is a strong statistical argument.
Festive adverts have taken television hostage, decorations have started to sparkle and talk has turned to the annual Christmas party. There is no escaping it, the countdown to the big day has begun and it's catch up time for the majority of us- be it panic buys online or purchasing enough selection boxes in the weekly shop to keep a small school going.