Nominations Open Now - Volunteer Ireland Awards


Ballina Community Centre was graced with a touch of glamour on recently, when the former Ms. Georgia and current Ms International, Nova Pearson Kopp, gave up some of her holiday time in Ireland to volunteer with the Meals on Wheels service. Ms Kopp was on a trip to Ballina with her husband, Mark Kopp, and was put in touch with Mayo Volunteer Centre when she expressed an interest in volunteering while here. The Centre was delighted to help her find a way to contribute during her visit, and she spent some time assisting in the Vincents charity shop and with delivering meals to older and disabled people.

Fiona Cunnane, Manager of Mayo Volunteer Centre said, “We were delighted to be able to help Nova find a way to volunteer during her short stay in Ballina. She is a very accomplished person, who is a great advocate for community service where she lives in the U.S. serving on many voluntary Boards, and has a particular interest in assisting people affected by domestic violence.  Our role in the Volunteer Centre is to help everyone get involved in volunteering – so whether you have done it before or not, and no matter how much time you have available, we can help you find a volunteer role to suit you!”

Mayo Volunteer Centre are currently encouraging people to nominate volunteers for a Volunteer Ireland Award. The awards are open to volunteers of all ages in the Republic of Ireland. There are ten different award categories, along with the prestigious Christine Buckley Volunteer of the Year award.

“There are many people in Mayo, who, like Nova, commit their time to volunteering. These awards provide an opportunity to showcase this diverse group of people and say thank you for their remarkable work,” Fiona added.

Anyone can nominate a volunteer, and the ten categories are:

·         Animals and Environment

·         Arts, Culture and Media

·         Campaigning and Awareness Raising

·         Children and Youth

·         Community

·         Safety and Emergency Services

·         Health and Disability

·         Social Work and Social Inclusion

·         Sports and Recreation

·         Outstanding Group

This year sees the introduction of a new award for groups, to recognise the teams of volunteers across the country that work together to make a difference. There will also be a special commendation for Volunteer Manager of the Year. Every single person nominated for an award will receive a special ‘thank you’ card from Volunteer Ireland.


All shortlisted applicants are automatically eligible for the overall Volunteer of the Year Award. Nominations close at midnight on Friday 6th October and can be made online at The Christine Buckley Volunteer of the Year Award along with the ten category winners will be announced at a gala awards ceremony on Friday 1st December in the Radisson Hotel, Sligo. The event fittingly coincides with the closing ceremony that ends Sligo’s year as the European Volunteering Capital. All shortlisted nominees along with their guests will be invited to the ceremony to enjoy a much-deserved night of celebration.

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