2012 Volunteer Ireland Awards, Health and Disability

Betty Wall, Variety, the children's charity

Dublin, Category Winner

Betty joined The Variety Club in 1966.  She and her late husband Kevin gave 45 years of their lives on a voluntary basis. Childhood sweethearts, sadly Kevin died last year just before their 50th wedding anniversary. They both served as Chief Barkers (Chairpersons).  Upset by falling numbers of voluntary members, Betty believed the work should not come to an end.  Her life’s mission was to put a plan in place to carry the work forward.  She impacted local communities as she encouraged voluntary members to sell thousands of Variety ‘Gold Hearts’; encouraging the public to “wear your heart on your sleeve”. She has brought volunteers and charities together and has impacted the lives of thousands of children and their families.

Her innovation brought the first ‘Liberty Swing’ to Ireland in 2009 – the first swing for wheelchair-bound children. This has enhanced the lives of hundreds of children and Betty has a long term plan to put one swing in every County in Ireland.  The 'mobility programme' increased the number of Sunshine Coaches donated to various schools and charities around Ireland. 

Doreen Smyth nominated Betty for a Volunteer Ireland Award, she said "Betty is now aged 80 years and still works as hard as ever on a daily basis and continues to make a difference. We admire and salute her... She is a wonderful ambassador for volunteers in Ireland.”

Photgraphy by Sarah McGregor.