2013 Volunteer Ireland Awards, Health and Disability

Lorraine Dempsey, Special Needs Parents Association

Aughrim, Co, Wicklow, Category Winner

Lorraine Dempsey is the Chairperson of the Special Needs Parents Association, which exists to support all parents of persons with special needs and disabilities, by promoting on a national level, improved treatment, education, welfare and acceptance. Lorraine leads the organisation, provides support to parents of persons with special needs by advising them of their rights and the rights of their children. Lorraine liaises with key decision makers, including departmental and political figures, to highlight important issues. As media spokesperson, Lorraine is on call 24/7 and regularly represents the organisation on television and radio. Lorraine also attends many conferences and meetings on behalf of the organisation.

Lorraine has been instrumental in giving parents of persons with special needs a united voice on behalf of their children. Julie Anne Cunneen nominated Lorraine for a Volunteer Ireland Award, she said “Lorraine was responsible for the development and growth of SNPA - she got involved through her own experience of having a child with a disability and the struggles of finding support. She has never turned away from offering her help in spite of the commitments she must have with her own family and life.  She has worked so hard to support so many families that I think it is time for us to show her how much we appreciate her by nominating her for this award.”


Photo courtesy of Mark Cummins