Search begins for local heroes

The search has begun to find this year’s outstanding volunteers.

Launching the Volunteer Ireland Awards 2012, RTÉ presenter Claire Byrne called on people across the country to go online to www.volunteer.ie and nominate heroes in their local community who are deserving of a special “thank you”.

The Volunteer Ireland Awards are the major annual initiative to celebrate volunteering in Ireland that are co-ordinated by Volunteer Ireland — the national volunteer development agency — and supported by Panadol.

Now in its fifth year, the awards aim to celebrate and recognise the thousands of remarkable people across the country who selflessly give their time and talent to benefit others and their communities.

There are 10 different awards categories including sports, arts, youth, environment, community, disability, education, social work, awareness raising and international development. Nominations can be received up to Oct 26. Category winners and an overall winner will be decided at a special awards ceremony in December.

Volunteer Ireland interim manager Rosaleen McMenamin said: “The awards are an opportunity to recognise and say thanks to Ireland’s volunteers, the ordinary people across the country who do extraordinary things.

“Volunteers are Ireland’s most precious natural resource, their value and impact to our society is immeasurable.

“We’re calling on the Irish public to help shine a light on these remarkable volunteers and share their inspiring stories with the nation.”

Last year hundreds of volunteers were nominated from all parts of the country and awards were presented to the shortlisted nominees by President Michael D Higgins.

* To make a nomination, go online to www.volunteer.ie

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