Kate Durrant has been named as Cork person of the Month for April.
The award is Ms Durrant’s latest accolade, after having been named ‘Ireland’s Most Inspirational Person’ last year.
Originally from Blarney, Ms Durrant is a prominent community activist, not just in Cork, but throughout Ireland.
She is involved in leadership roles with St Vincent de Paul (SVP), Dogs for the Disabled, Blarney Community First Responders, Pieta House and her local Tidy Towns group.
The St Vincent de Paul conference, which she helped co-found, currently assists up to 200 families per week, as well as more than 2,500 families at Christmas time.
She is also involved with providing support for families of asylum seekers living in direct provision.
Ms Durrant is a committed volunteer and puppy socialiser with Irish Dogs for Disabled who provide fully trained assistant and task dogs for children and young adults living with physical disabilities.
She is also a regular visitor to the Mercy University Hospital, along with Hugo, a fully trained therapy dog.
In 2015, alongside her friend Deborah Lynch, she co-founded Blarney Community First Responders which provides 24 hours a day, year-round cover in Blarney and surrounding areas to anyone suffering a cardiac incident or stroke.
In 2016, She was part of the team that brought the Pieta House Darkness into Light walk to Blarney. This walk has raised over €100,000 to date for Pieta House, which provides essential local mental-health support services.
More recently, Ms Durrant has also been helping out during the recent Covid-19 crisis.
She took a lead role in the local Community Response Forum team of volunteers, which has been working seven days a week with Cork City Council to provide hot meals, vital groceries, medicine, fuel deliveries and social care supports to vulnerable citizens.
I’ve a very good group of friends and we’re not taking on problems, we’re involved in solutions
"I’ve a roof over my head and a full fridge, so I win the lottery every single day I wake up," she said.
At the Gala Retail Inspiration Awards last November, the judging panel described Kate Durrant as, “a true community champion who works tirelessly to make a difference in her hometown of Blarney."
Kate Durrant was presented with last year’s ‘Ireland’s Most Inspirational Person’ award by former Ireland International footballer Niall Quinn at a ceremony in Dublin.
“It's very special to be recognised by my adopted home place of Blarney and Cork,” said Kate in her acceptance speech
“There is always a need for volunteers in Cork, and I would encourage everyone to get involved and give back to their local community," she added.
Awards Organiser Manus O’Callaghan said, “The people of Blarney and Cork are very grateful for the work that Kate Durrant does.
“She selflessly gives her time to causes and people that need support, and we are thrilled to acknowledge her commitment to the Cork community with this award.”
Kate Durrant’s name will now go forward for possible selection as Cork Person of the Year at an awards lunch on January 15th next at Rochestown Park Hotel.
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