2012 Volunteer Ireland Awards, Campaigning and Awareness Raising

Oliver Clare, ReachOut.com

Drumlin, Louth

Oliver Clare is a young trainee accountant from Co. Louth who started volunteering with Reachout.com 12 months ago with one aim: to do all in his power to help young people lead happier lives.

He approached ReachOut.com as he was a huge advocate of the service it provides; offering advice online and helping young people through tough times. Feeling passionate about this service and the work that it does, Oliver felt that the best thing he could do was to promote ReachOut.com and positive mental health across the entire country while hopefully fundraising for ReachOut.com at the same time.

Oliver to enjoys playing football for his local club in Dunleer, but up until last year he had never taken running seriously. So he embarked on a challenge 'Running for ReachOut.com'. A challenge that would see him compete in twenty marathons across 2012!

The Dublin City Marathon on October 29th will be his 17th marathon of the year, an incredible feat for a young man who's also working full time while studying for his accountancy exams. His amazing journey to date has seen him complete marathons in Galway, Clare, Belfast, Donegal, Dingle, Waterford, Kildare, Limerick and Longford, to name but a few. Other highlights include completing 'Ireland's Toughest Marathon', finishing three marathons in three days in May, and running a staggering 100 miles in Connemara in his first ever Ultramarathon. 

Not content with conquering the running world, Oliver also turned his attention to social media. His blog has just surpassed 7,000 views (http://runningforreachout.wordpress.com/) and he has also amassed nearly 900 followers on Twitter (http://twitter.com/runnin4reachout) and almost 500 likes on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/runningforreachout?fref=ts).

And he has also found time to host numerous fundraisers throughout the year including a penalty shoot-out competition, coffee morning and local parish collections. To date he has raised nearly €3,000 of his €5,000 target.

Nigel O’Callaghan nominated Oliver for a Volunteer Ireland Award, he said “Oliver is an extremely dedicated young man who cares deeply about positive mental health and helping young people through tough times. Through his passion and drive he has excelled in promoting ReachOut.com in areas that we would otherwise found difficult to engage with. He has brought our service and promoted positive mental health all across Ireland and this has been hugely beneficial to both the organisation and those communities.”

Photography by Damien Faulkner