Volunteer Ireland Award Categories
Each year, people from all over Ireland are encouraged to nominate someone they know who gives their time and energy voluntarily for a Volunteer Ireland Award.
The awards aim to celebrate and recognise the thousands of remarkable people across the country who selflessly give their time and talent to benefit others. Anyone can nominate a volunteer. The only requirement is that the nominee must be a volunteer (with the exception of the Volunteer Manager category). The Volunteer Ireland Awards are open to volunteers of all ages working with Irish volunteer involving organisations.
11 Category Winners and 1 Volunteer of The Year
Volunteers can be nominated for an award in 1 of 11 categories. These categories reflect different facets of volunteering work. The category that the individual is nominated for is determined by the focus of the work of the organisation that they volunteer in.
The final category for Outstanding Volunteer Manager, is separate because it can be awarded to someone in a paid or unpaid role.
Each volunteer nominated receives a special Thank You card from Volunteer Ireland acknowledging their service.
All nominations are adjudicated by a shortlisting team and a panel of judges. Entries are whittled down to 33 shortlisted nominees, who will attend a gala awards ceremony in December in Dublin. 11 category awardees are announced at the ceremony and one truly exceptional volunteer receives the Christine Buckley Volunteer of the Year award.
This award is named in memory of Christine Buckley, who sadly passed away in March 2014. As a co-founder of Aislinn Education and Support Centre, Christine campaigned tirelessly on behalf of victims of institutional abuse for more than 25 years. Christine was Ireland’s Volunteer of the Year in 2009 and went on to be presented with the award for ‘European Volunteer of the Year’ at the European Parliament in Strasbourg the same year.
You can see the previous winners of the Volunteer of the Year Award and all the category winners here.
Animals and Environment
Organisations which are involved in working with animals in both a therapeutic and a caring context, as well as organisations which are focused on environmental issues, safety and/or sustainability
Arts, Culture and Media
Organisations such as libraries, galleries, theatres, drama groups, cultural centres, film and photography groups, heritage groups, community radio, etc.
Campaigning and Awareness Raising
Organisations whose core focus is on human rights, awareness raising, and campaigning around injustice
Children and Youth
Organisations working to provide for the welfare, safety, and wellbeing of children and young people
Organisations which are community based such as community centres, schools, church groups, neighbourhood groups, etc.
Safety & Emergency Services
Organisations such as first responders, first aid, search and rescue, mountain rescue, the Coast Guard, etc.
Health and Disability
Organisations working with and for people who are ill or disabled, either mentally or physically (or both) to improve quality of life.
Social Work & Social Inclusion
Organisations covering a range of fields including homelessness, the prison service, asylum seekers, domestic violence, hospices, drugs, victim support, etc
Sports and Recreation
Organisations such as sports clubs, recreation centres, leisure clubs/centres, hill walking groups, fitness, play groups, dancing clubs, etc.
Outstanding Group Award
Outstanding achievement of a voluntary team of three people or more.
Outstanding Volunteer Manager
We also award an Outstanding Volunteer Manager. Unlike the other categories this persons can be in a paid or unpaid position.
The Community Hero Award is a lifetime achievement award honouring a volunteer who has – over the course of their life – made an extraordinary contribution to a good cause. This award is a unique collaboration between the Volunteer Ireland Awards and The Wheel’s Charity Impact Awards. It aims to shine a light on those remarkable individuals who, year after year, dedicate their time and energy to supporting a community and voluntary organisation, club or association.
The Community Hero Award will be awarded to one of the 30 shortlisted nominees for the Volunteer Ireland Awards.
Voting and Final Selection
The ten longest serving volunteers from the 30 shortlisted nominees of the Volunteer Ireland Awards will be eligible to be selected for the Community Hero Award. The public can vote for their favourite Community Hero Award nominees online before 7th December. The recipient of the Community Hero Award will be announced at the Charity Impact Awards in December.