Barbara Hogg, Irish Blue Cross, Dublin

Barbara has been with the Blue Cross as a fundraising, events and administration volunteer since 1999! She has not only helped with admin work for many hours each week in the office but she is also one of the Blue Cross’ stalwart cash collection and expo volunteers. Over the years she has also recruited her own dogs as volunteers, Neetah (who has now retired!) and the lovable Fionn. Whether it’s standing in the rain collecting money, standing at an expo stand or motivating and supporting volunteers at the Bark in the Park events, she is there.

Barbara unfortunately permanently lost her hearing quite suddenly a number of years back and she had to give up her career in credit control as well as trying to adapt to a new and very distressing situation. She did not let this dampen her spirits and has continued to volunteer throughout.

According to Alison who nominated her “As a new member of the Blue Cross team myself, she is always a fantastic go-to person to ask anything of. She gets stuck in, she’s organised and meticulous, she gets such a kick out of counting money as she knows the good it is doing and most of all – she would do your heart good!”

 

Suzanne O’Neill, Sean Walsh Park, Dublin

Suzanne has been volunteering in the Community Garden in Sean Walsh Park for over 7 years. A qualified horticulturist, she uses her expertise to give advice and guidance on maintaining the garden, which is a social outlet and safe space for those in unemployment. She has had a huge impact in an area that is high in deprivation and poverty with rates of unemployment above the national levels. She works with a group of 20 people (continuously growing in numbers) in a non- threatening and safe environment.

She has created a social outlet for people and friendships have grown as a result. Through her teachings the participants have seen how things can grow and they are able to harvest the fruits of their labours. Every month she delivers workshops in the community garden on different topics including floristry, making hanging baskets, vegetable window boxes, composting, garden design, plants for the different seasons and maintenance. She has utilised the poly tunnel in the garden to grow melons, tomatoes and pumpkins. She even provides recipes to include the produce that the participants have grown.

 

Tricia Lynch Fleming and Mary Crowley, CSPCA, Cork

Tricia and Mary have been fundraising together for the CSPCA for over 4 years. They are constantly coming up with new ideas to raise funds for animals in the CSPCA. They collect and sell items on their Facebook fundraising page. In addition to online sales, they run car boot sales, online auctions, street collections, photo competitions and even organised to bring people’s pet to Santa ‘paws’ & collected and delivered toys and blankets for the animals at CSPCA for Christmas week. They always go above and beyond, for example, meeting people in the evenings and weekends to collect items people purchase no matter how small the item or cost. Their hard work and dedication has raised vital funds for CSPCA over the years.