Unsung heroes shortlisted for awards

Unsung heroes shortlisted for awards

THREE volunteers – unsung heroes to many – from South Dublin County are shortlisted for this year’s Volunteer Ireland Awards.

Hamid Abduli Ali is strongly committed to his volunteering role at the Tallaght Intercultural Drop-In Centre (TIC), where he puts participants at ease with his patient and cheerful attitude.

James Dempsey 2

His dedication is admirable since he has overcome major difficulties, such as moving as a lone migrant from Afghanistan, dealing with a physical disability, and language and cultural barriers.

James Dempsey began volunteering at the Youth Café in January 2016 and during the last 20 months, he has been one of the most consistent volunteers, putting all the established and new participants at ease with his bubbly and welcoming personality.

The three hours he commits a week to the young people are for some the highlight of their week.

Suzanne O’Neill, who has been a volunteer at the Community Garden in Sean Walsh Park for seven years, uses her expertise in horticulture to give advice and guidance on maintaining the garden, which is a social outlet and safe space for those in unemployment.

She works with a continually growing group of 20 people in a non-threatening and safe environment, significantly impacting an area that is high in deprivation and poverty.

The national awards will celebrate Ireland’s unsung heroes at a special ceremony in Sligo in December, where one exceptional volunteer will be named Ireland’s Volunteer of the year.

Tricia Nolan, South Dublin County Volunteer Centre Manager said: “We are particularly lucky in this area to have exceptional volunteers like Hamid, James and Suzanne who help our community thrive. The awards allow us to really celebrate and showcase everything that these volunteers do but most of all they give us an opportunity to say thank you.”

For more information or to read other inspiring stories of the shortlisted volunteers, visit www.volunteer.ie