A 12-year-old Donegal girl has received the Irish Red Cross Young Volunteer of the Year Award.
Sarah McConnellogue has led the charge in recruiting youth members in her local branch in Muff in Inishowen.
Sarah McConnellogue was at Croke Park were she received her award for her dedication to volunteering in her local community, by the chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs, Alan Farrell TD.
Sarah has been a member of the Muff Branch in Donegal for three years. She has completed numerous programmes, including first aid training, and she competes in all Branch first aid training and competitions.
She has an impeccable attendance record at the Branch and has not missed a training night in the last two years.
She is always first to volunteer when the Branch is helping out at community events and is the first name on the list to attend all youth events.
However, Sarah’s greatest talent may be her role as a recruitment aficionado; Muff Branch currently has 19 youth members who are in Sarah’s school class!
Sarah is described by those who nominated her as “an enthusiastic, committed volunteer who shows a willingness to learn and develop new skills – she and is a true humanitarian.” It was also noted by her nominators that Sarah has a smile for everyone she meets and befriends new members, ensuring everyone is involved and happy.
Sarah is eagerly looking forward to progressing as a member and delivering first aid training, as well as becoming a youth leader.
Addressing the gathered volunteers chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs, Alan Farrell TD said; “volunteers within the Irish Red Cross act as an inspiration to us all through their commitment to helping local communities, providing humanitarian aid in times of need, and assisting the most vulnerable people, both at home and abroad.
“The selfless nature with which they carry out their work showcases their commitment to helping others and working to make our world a better place, as we all most notably saw by the Irish Red Cross’ response during our recent weather emergencies, including storms Emma, Eleanor, Brian and Ophelia. As Chairperson of the Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs, and a former member of the Oireachtas Justice, Equality and Defence Committee, I have always been impressed and inspired by the dedication of Irish Red Cross volunteers and I wish to express my sincere gratitude to every single member of the organisation across Ireland for their commitment to helping others.”
Speaking at today’s ceremony, Ted Noonan, Chair of Irish Red Cross Volunteer Development said the Irish Red Cross’ mission is to identify and deliver impartial humanitarian assistance to those who are most in need, offering hope to vulnerable communities – both at home and abroad, and this spirit is exactly what our volunteers in Ireland embody in their work every week.
“Irish Red Cross volunteers like Sarah keep our communities safe and make them more resilient. Today is a great occasion to acknowledge their efforts and to recognise those who have particularly excelled in their field in the last year.”
The Irish Red Cross National Volunteer Award kicks off celebrations for World Red Cross Red Crescent Day which is held each year on 8 May to celebrate the work of the Red Cross and Red Crescent globally and locally.
The full list of winners is as follows;
Irish Red Cross Volunteer of the Year
Padraig O’Reilly, Clonakilty, Co Cork
Irish Red Cross Young Volunteer of the Year
Sarah McConnellogue, Muff, Co Donegal
Irish Red Cross Instructor of the Year
Rose Ward, Claremorris, Co Mayo
Irish Red Cross Health & Social Care Officer of the Year
Antoinette Coffey, Dungarvan, Co Waterford
Irish Red Cross Youth Achievement of the Year
Caoimhe McLaughlin, Muff, Co Donegal
Irish Red Cross Unit Member of the Year
Paddy Redmond, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford
Irish Red Cross Special Status of the Year
Irish Red Cross Branch of the Year
Roscrea, Co Tipperary
Irish Red Cross Area of the Year