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Search underway for Ireland’s top youth volunteers

Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards launched in Letterkenny

Connie Duffy

Reporter:

Connie Duffy

Email:

connie.duffy@donegaldemocrat.ie

Search underway for Ireland’s top youth volunteers

Pictured at the launch this year’s Pramerica Spirit of Community Awardsare Naomi Hegarty, Executive Sponsor, Spirit Student Ambassador David Giles and Nikki Bradley

The Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards has launched its 14th campaign to shine a light on the commitment and dedication of young people’s volunteering efforts across Ireland by encouraging students to apply for their 2020 awards.

One of Ireland’s largest youth recognition programmes, the initiative aims to give young people a voice who are making their communities a better place to live while inspiring others to take action. The top 20 honourees each receive €500 with two finalists winning €1,000 for their preferred charity and a once in a lifetime trip to Washington, D.C.

Run in partnership with the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) and the General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI), the awards celebrate youth volunteers who are passionate about a range of topics including homelessness, mental health, disabled rights, animal cruelty, caring for the young and elderly, plus many more.

“There is a new generation of young people who are taking a stand for what they believe in and empowering others to take positive action in areas that they are passionate about,” said Naomi Hegarty, vice president, risk management, Pramerica Systems Ireland during the launch event in Letterkenny on Thursday.

“There is so much amazing volunteering work going on in communities across Ireland and we want these brilliant young people to enter the awards to get the recognition they truly deserve.”

“At Pramerica we are committed to supporting youth volunteers and we want to acknowledge and reward those who continuously and unselfishly sacrifice their spare time in order to make a positive impact through their actions,” Hegarty added.

“Small contributions can make a big difference, sometimes the smallest deeds like spending time with an elderly neighbour can have the biggest influence on someone’s outlook and our awards programme is about making sure these acts don’t go unnoticed.”

The 2020 Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards are split into two categories including the Junior category, for students under the age of 16, and the Senior category, for students under the age of 19. Applications are now open at www.pramerica.ie/spirit.

Students must register and apply via the online system by October 24 and their completed application is then submitted to their principal for review/submission with a deadline of November 8. All students who submit an application will receive a Certificate of Merit.

A judging panel, including people from charitable organisations, education and Pramerica, will select 20 finalists and the two All-Ireland Youth Volunteers of the Year which will be announced on February 5, 2020.