Tallaght Man Wins National Volunteer Award

Tallaght local Johnny Fox was named the winner in the Campaigning and Awareness Raising category at the national Volunteer Ireland Awards on Friday night for his commitment to Pieta House and Tallaght Athletic Club.

Having sadly lost his son to suicide, Johnny became part of the committee that developed the first Darkness into Light with Pieta House. Aside from all the preparation in advance of the day, Johnny is at the finish line from when the first person crosses the line right until the last person finishes, cheering everyone on.

Although he was nominated for his work with Pieta House, Johnny has also given over 50 years as a volunteer to Tallaght Athletic Club. The young people there described Johnny as more than a coach but a mentor and friend who has made a real difference in their live.

According to South Dublin County Volunteer Centre Manager Tricia Nolan “We are lucky to have volunteers like Johnny here in South Dublin.  Johnny has given so much to the local community over the last 50 years and at almost 80 years old shows no signs of slowing down. Volunteers are often unseen but the contribution they make to Irish society is immense. These awards give us a chance to say thank you and celebrate the difference volunteers make every day.”

Owodunni Mustapha was named Christine Buckley Volunteer of the Year for her commitment and dedication to supporting the residents of the Old Convent Direct Provision Centre Ballyhaunis where she lives.

Seán Canney, Minister of State for Community Development, Natural Resources and Digital Development said “Volunteers make an invaluable contribution to Irish society, supporting vibrant and inclusive communities across the country. Their impact cannot be understated and awards like these are vital to show our appreciation for all that they do and inspire new people to volunteer. I’m delighted that my Department is able to support these awards.”

According to Kate O’Flaherty, Head of Health and Wellbeing, Department of Health: “Volunteers are at the heart of healthy, sustainable communities. The nominees show the impact that volunteers have on the health and well-being of their communities and the people that live in them.  Volunteers give their time and energy helping others and there are well-proven benefits for health and mental wellbeing. Healthy Ireland is delighted to partner with Volunteer Ireland and to celebrate with the various nominees and acknowledge their work.”

The Volunteer Ireland Awards are now in their twelfth year and aim to shine a light on the ordinary people doing extraordinary things in our communities every day. Eleven category winners and the overall Volunteer of the Year were named at an awards ceremony in the Carlton Hotel, Blanchardstown on Friday 6th December. The awards are supported by the Department of Rural and Community Development and Healthy Ireland.