Carlow Volunteer to Be Honored At National Awards Ceremony

Carlow Volunteer Centre is delighted to announce the shortlist for the twelfth annual Volunteer Ireland Awards. Over 1 million people in Ireland volunteer and these awards aim to celebrate the hard work and dedication of volunteers across the country.

Aged 10 to 80 from sixteen counties, this year’s shortlist is a showcase of the breadth and depth of volunteering in Ireland. From mental health to sport to homelessness, volunteers have an invaluable impact on communities across Ireland every day. Carlow’s own John Paul Payne has been nominated for Carlow Pride Festival in the Arts, Culture and Media category.

John Paul had always dreamt of making Carlow a great place to live for everyone and 8 months ago he formed a committee to create the first ever Carlow Pride Festival. The committee is made up of people from all social backgrounds, sexual orientations, abilities and ages. He created an environment for people to show true leadership where normally they may not within society. John Paul spent 8 months working with local businesses, Government bodies and the general public to create a truly colourful event. 3,500 people attended the inaugural parade and festival, which was completely free for everyone to enjoy.

John Paul developed many initiatives during the festival. There was a window display competition, bunting across the town and a party in the park amongst others . John Paul also recognised he importance of his fellow volunteers who helped make the festival happen and organised a special thank you night to show his appreciation.

According to Carlow Volunteer Centre Manager Helen Rothwell “I’d like to congratulate John Paul for being shortlisted in this year’s Volunteer Ireland Awards. Each year I am blown away by the breadth and diversity of volunteering across Ireland. So many people go above and beyond because they care and they want to make a difference. These awards are a chance not just to say thank you to these extraordinary people but also to share their stories and shine a light on the extraordinary work that goes on in communities like Carlow every day.”

This year the Volunteer Ireland Awards have partnered with the Department of Rural and Community Development and Healthy Ireland, who both share an ethos of volunteering contributing to healthy, vibrant communities.

Minister Seán Canney, Minister of State for Community Development, Natural Resources and Digital Development said “I am delighted that, through my Department, the Government actively encourages and supports the valuable contribution volunteers make to our society. Without their selfless contribution of time and energy, much of what we take for granted in terms of our society would not happen. Volunteers make a significant impact across many areas of society, including raising awareness of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Without active volunteers, communities cannot flourish.”

According to Kate O’Flaherty, Head of Health and Wellbeing, Department of Health, “Volunteering has a critical part to play in supporting healthy, sustainable communities. Not only for the positive impact on the health and wellbeing of volunteers themselves but for the impact their collective contribution has on our communities. We are delighted to partner with the Volunteer Ireland

Awards again this year and are particularly pleased to see so many nominees in the health and wellbeing space.”

The twelfth Volunteer Ireland Awards take place on Friday 6th December in the Carlton Hotel, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15. Shortlisted nominess along with their family and friends will be treated to a night of celebration where announce the winners in each category will be announced and Ireland’s Volunteer of the Year for 2019 will be named.

"In Carlow Volunteer Centre we are passionate about volunteering and Carlow County is a great place to volunteer. Volunteering enriches communities, gives volunteers an opportunity to develop personally, and puts giving at the heart of how we all live.”


19nov11:00 am1:00 pmGarda Vetting Training 19th November 2019