2013 Volunteer Ireland Awards, International Development (2008 - 2015)

Anne Copplestone, The Hope Foundation

Cork City, Category Winner

Anne Copplestone volunteers with The Hope Foundation as the Head Coordinator of the Transition Year Immersion Programme to Kolkata, India. Anne Copplestone has volunteered with the organisation for over 11 years. She first traveled to India in 2002 with The Hope Foundation, and saw first hand the serious neglect, abuse and poverty the street children were exposed to every day in Kolkata. She also witnessed the great work done by The Hope Foundation for these children and decided she wanted to do more.  Since then, each year Anne has volunteered to coordinate and travel with a group of over 50 Transition Year students to Kolkata, India. Over the  last 11 years, Anne has taken over 600 students to Kolkata. In her evenings and weekends, Anne travelled all over Munster meeting each student and their parents, helping with their fundraising and coordinating the trips- everything from flights to visas, vaccinations to hotels.

Tara Copplestone, Anne’s daughter, nominated her for a Volunteer Ireland Award, she said, “My favourite moment of the trip is the first morning, when all the students meet in the airport. They have all fundraised beforehand, and are so excited. Yet, they are quivering in their boots to step out of line with Anne. The next time I see the students is when they arrive back and they can't get enough of her. They love and adore her and half the students start crying as they say their goodbyes. It's because of the respect they have for her. They realise the hard work she has undertaken in her spare time, and that their lives will never be the same again.'