The search is on for Ireland’s best young volunteers

23 Sep 2016

From left: Ciaran Harvey, senior MD and CIO at Pramerica; a student from Loretto Convent, Letterkenny; athlete Mark English; and Andrea McBride, VP of systems, Pramerica. Image: Clive Wasson

Pramerica’s search for Ireland’s top young volunteers is underway with the start of the company’s 2017 Spirit of Community Awards programme.

Aimed at post-primary-school children, Pramerica’s awards recognise “outstanding acts of volunteerism” and has been going for 11 years.

Applications for the 2016 awards are open here and some 200 volunteers have been recognised through the scheme to date.

Future Human


Best volunteers

Rating volunteers’ impact on local communities, the spirit and community project will be open for applications until 21 October. Subsequently, school principals can nominate two of their students to go forward to the judging.

This gets whittled down to 20 before the overall winners are announced in March next year, with cash prizes and trips to the US on offer.

One of Ireland’s Rio Olympians Mark English kicked off this year’s competition, saying a caring attitude is omnipresent among all volunteers.

“It is great to see an awards programme that provides a platform for young volunteers from across Ireland to be recognised,” said English, who’s from Letterkenny, where Pramerica is based in Ireland.


“Pramerica believes in supporting young people committed to making a difference in their local communities, who see the challenges that society faces and are determined to create positive outcomes,” said Andrea McBride, VP of systems at Pramerica.

“After 11 years, the stories of the contributions of these young people still makes me sit back in admiration,” she said. “I’m looking forward to finding out about the outstanding work of new volunteers across Ireland through our awards programme this year.”

The awards’ partners include the National Association of Principals & Deputy Principals and the General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland. It’s also supported by Volunteer Now, Volunteer Ireland, Foróige and Scouting Ireland.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic