Family Carers Ireland
Sarah Ann Buday is 15 and has been volunteering with Family Carers Ireland for two years. She is an active advocate for the rights of children, teens, and young adults who are caring for a family member with lifelong disabilities. When her sister was born with serious health concerns, Sarah not only took on caring duties but also wanted to be a voice to call attention to the powerful caregiving that takes place every day by young people.
She spoke to the Oireachtas Committee in March of this year to bring awareness to the vital role that young people have in caregiving. Young carers often face the unique position of balancing school and social responsibilities with caregiving, and Sarah even participated in research at UCC and UCL about how this complex role affects one’s wellbeing.
Sarah was awarded a Young Carer of the Year in 2022 and was recognized for her continued work in recognition of the importance of Young Carers in Ireland during the Galway Gaedai Divisional Youth Awards in 2023. “Everyone who knows Sarah Ann at school, at the Young Carers group, or in the community has been inspired by her sense of responsibility, her modesty, and her caring personality,” says her nominator.
LauraLynn Children’s Hospice
Mary McDaid has been volunteering with LauraLynn Children’s Hospice for 10 years now. One of the most important roles that she serves is visiting schools and speaking to children about the work that LauraLynn does. Mary worked as a teacher and she is gifted at presenting information to children and speaking at an age-appropriate level about the sometimes difficult work that LauraLynn does. This personal connection with students inspires them to donate and be involved with the organization in the future. “Mary’s communication skills and consideration for family life are very apparent. I trust her completely” says her nominator.
Mary also calls and thanks those who have donated their hair to LauraLynn. “She puts the child who donated their long hair front and center, making them feel so special and important,” her volunteer leader notes. She regularly visits Hazel House and Willow View, where her singing is popular with the disabled residents.
Mary can also be found volunteering at a number of different LauraLynn events like Light up LauraLynn and their Family Fun days. She might be creating memories with the children through different activities, helping out at check-in, singing in the choir…or even dressing up as an elf!
Scouting Ireland and Community First Responders
Dermot Moore has volunteering with Cill Mhantain Scouting for 11 years, the last six of which he has served as the county commissioner overseeing 15 scout groups across County Wicklow. He has organized, sponsored, and led many county events including county cub and scout challenges, fundraising activities, and development activities for young people and leaders.
When four local clubs were struggling, Dermot personally took them on as Group Leader, on top of his own scout group and commissioner responsibilities, which made it possible for 150 children to participate in scouting. He was responsible for leader recruitment, retention, and training, as well as managing parental involvement and encouraging young people to get involved in Scouting. Dermot’s creative thinking and dedication has turned even less exciting parts of scout leading into fun events that have boosted attendance and participation.
Dermot does all this Scouting work while also leading the local Community Responders for his home location of Avoca/Conary. In this role, he has saved innumerable lives and provided comfort and support to patients and their families with his friendly, confident and empathetic demeanor. His two roles come together in his prioritization of training, so that scouts and leaders are able to provide emergency care, no matter where they go. The scouts have done fundraisers for First Responders in their community, even hosting open hikes where he had to fearlessly wade a freezing cold river.
Dermot has been described as selfless, skilled, creative, and a very talented whittler!