2012 Volunteer Ireland Awards, Social Work

Anne Woodworth, Samaritans – Waterford and South East Branch


Anne has been a volunteer with Samaritans for the past 12 years, during that time she has filled many roles most recently as Director of Waterford and South East Samaritans. During her three year period of directorship she oversaw many pioneering initiatives, namely the student listening scheme in conjunction with WIT, a partnership with Waterford River Rescue and an intiative with Waterford Healthcare Park which led to a volunteer presence in the waiting area of their surgery once a week. She oversaw the development of the Samaritan centre in Waterford bringing an old building into the twentieth century. She is currently the regional outreach officer for Samaritans. 

Samaritans provides a service to anybody in emotional distress, and to that end Anne still does weekly listening duties thus sharing her time and empathy with the most vulnerable people in our society.

Anne was Director of the Waterford Branch of Samaritans for three years until last March. She led 120 volunteers and aside from her normal duties, did a huge amount of outreach work - setting up listening volunteers in WIT  (the first time this was done at a third level college in Ireland) as well as carrying out programmes in schools.

Rory Fitzgerald nominated Anne for a Volunteer Ireland Award, he said "Taking her excellent interpersonal skills into account, she is in my view responsible for ensuring that many people stay as volunteers and provide a valuable service for the community - 24/7 support to many people who are in distress and or feeling suicidal. She has given a huge amount of time and personal commitment and has helped to both save and enrich peoples lives. She is a very modest person and deserves to be recognised.”

Photographs by Barbora Kotrasova.