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  • Northside East

Local volunteers are finalists for top award

Wednesday, 12th February, 2020 1:00pm
Local volunteers are finalists for top award

Charlotte Gallagher

Local volunteers are finalists for top award

Charlotte Gallagher

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THREE Dubliners have been included in Pramerica’s top 20 finalists for the 2020 Spirit of Community Awards.  

This is the only all-Ireland youth initiative of its kind that rewards post-primary students for their exemplary acts of volunteerism.

Jake Redmond, Rebecca Colley and Charlotte Gallagher have been chosen as some of the country’s most outstanding youth volunteers, working to make a positive impact on their local communities.

A Sixth-Year student at Larkin Community College, Jake is a dedicated Peer Educator with Jigsaw youth mental health service, helping teenagers between the ages of 12 to 19 years with their mental health difficulties. 

For several years he has taken part in events to raise awareness and funds for charities such as Pieta House, Localise and the Peter McVerry Trust.

A member of an advisory group for a government-led citizens’ assembly, on the reform of education, Jake worked with educators and policy makers to give young people a voice and a say in their education that was then brought to the attention of the Minister for Education.

Passionate about education, Jake went on to train for two days at the National College of Ireland to become a ‘Relationship Keeper’ that taught him how to help young students entering secondary school cope with the change and get the best out of the school environment.

Rebecca, a sixth-year student at Castleknock Community College, is a volunteer with Special Olympics. 

She coaches a team of 18 individuals of all ages in swimming with the aim of improving their confidence, communication and integration skills. 

Rebecca sees first-hand the positive impact that giving young people time and attention can have on them. 

Working with Special Olympics allowed Rebecca to meet other wonderful and inspiring volunteers who share her love for helping others. 

Rebecca has also shown great dedication to volunteering by travelling to Kolkata to work in homes for people with intellectual disabilities with Bekind Ireland, a local charity who support street children living in the area. 

A First-Year student at Our Lady’s School, Ballyboden, Charlotte was diagnosed with leukemia at age 10 and became the youngest member and volunteer of the Sarah Jennifer Knott Foundation (SJK). 

A close friend of Charlotte’s family, Sarah, passed away in 2015 aged 31 from Cancer of Unknown Primary (CUP). Unable to find the source of Sarah’s cancer her family set up the foundation to raise awareness and pay for research. 

Charlotte has been working relentlessly to spread the word about CUP amongst her peers and school friends.

The 20 finalists will gather for this year’s awards at Titanic, Belfast on March 31. 

Each finalist will receive €500 to donate to their preferred charity and are in the running to win a once in a lifetime trip across the globe to Washington DC. 

The programme, which is run in partnership with the National Association of Principals & Deputy Principals (NAPD) and the General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI), is one of Ireland’s largest youth recognition programmes.

Jake Redmond

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