Offaly community group nominated for national volunteering award

Justin Kelly

Reporter:

Justin Kelly

Email:

justin.kelly@iconicnews.ie

Offaly community group nominated for national volunteering award

Offaly community group nominated for national volunteering award

The Offaly Volunteering Information Service has announced that the Pullough Community Action Group has been nominated for a Volunteer Ireland Award.

Over 1 million people in Ireland volunteer and these awards aim to recognise the hard work and dedication of volunteers
across the country.

With volunteers ranging from age 16 to 86 from eighteen counties, this year’s shortlist is a showcase of the breadth and depth of volunteering in Ireland. From community shops to sports clubs to befriending, volunteers have a major impact on communities across Ireland every day.

Pullough community Action Group was set up by a group of eight volunteers who felt this small rural village needed to have a shop where local people could buy basic groceries and meet their neighbours on a regular basis.

In spite of the fact that they had no money to achieve their plan, within a few months they had secured permission from the owner to lease the premises, raised enough money to cover the cost of insurance, repair, restore and stock the shop.

Overcoming all obstacles they forged ahead and opened Offaly's only community shop in June 2017. Since then they have remained dedicated to their roles as volunteers. The shop is open seven days a week, even remaining open during the severe storms and snow of the past year.

Aside from the opportunity to buy food locally, the shop acts as a social hub for locals of all ages. The shop has also
created a space where young people can engage in both educational and recreational activities such as computer training, arts & crafts and wellness programmes.

According to Offaly Volunteering Information Service Coordinator Siobhán Broderick, “it is always heartening to see the sheer amount and variety of volunteering that goes on throughout Ireland. The shortlist provides just a snapshot of our strong culture of volunteering in Ireland and it is great to have Offaly represented by the Pullough Community Action Group on the national stage."

"I’d like to congratulate the group and all of those on the shortlist – the difference you make to our communities cannot be overstated.”

The eleventh Volunteer Ireland Awards take place on Friday, December 7, in the Carlton Hotel, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.

Shortlisted nominees along with their family and friends will be treated to a night of celebration where the winners in each category and Ireland’s Volunteer of the Year for 2018 will be announced.