When can I nominate?

Nominations for the 2017 Volunteer Ireland Awards opened on Monday 21st August 2017 and closed at midnight Friday 13th October 2017.

Where do I nominate?
Nominations are now closed for the 2017 Volunteer Ireland Awards.

Who can nominate?
Anyone can nominate themselves or a volunteer they know (eg: a co-worker, employee, fellow volunteer, friend, relative, neighbour, or coach). There is no limit on how many people you can nominate.

Who can I nominate?

  • Anyone you know can be nominated.
  • Any type of volunteer can be nominated – full-time, part-time, once-off, new or old.
  • Nominees who receive payment for their work are not eligible.
  • Couples or partners who volunteer together are eligible for every category excluding the Outstanding Group Award. However, groups or teams of three or more are only eligible for the Outstanding Group Award.

This year, we are giving a Special Commendation for an outstanding Volunteer Manager. Nominees for this commendation can receive payment for their work.

Can I nominate a group of volunteers? 

The Volunteer Ireland Awards has launched a new category this year for Outstanding Groups of Volunteers. Any group of 3 or more volunteers can be nominated in this category. Please note that given space restrictions, not all members of shortlisted group may be able to attend the awards event.

Can children be nominated?
Yes, volunteers under 18 years can be nominated. Volunteer Ireland will seek permission from a parent/guardian for the nominee to participate in the campaign if they are shortlisted.

Who is organising the awards?
The Volunteer Ireland awards are organised by Volunteer Ireland (Charity No: 15474). President Michael D Higgins is Patron of the Awards.
You can contact Volunteer Ireland at 01 6369446 or email .

When is the Gala Awards Ceremony?

The Volunteer Ireland Gala Awards Ceremony for 2017 took place on December 1st in the Radisson Hotel, Rosses Point, Sligo.

What happens when I submit my nomination

  • You will receive email confirmation of your nomination. If you are unsure if your nomination has been received, please contact us before re-submitting it to avoid duplications.(01 636 9446 or
  • Every nominee will be sent a personalised Thank You card from Volunteer Ireland to acknowledge their contribution as a volunteer.
  • If shortlisted, nominees will be contacted in early November using the contact details supplied on the nomination form.

What are the categories?
Nominations are categorised by the focus of the work of the organisation that they volunteer with. You can only select one category per nomination. The categories are:

  • Animals and Environment
  • Arts, Culture and Media
  • Campaigning and Awareness Raising
  • Children and Youth
  • Community
  • Health and Disability
  • Safety and Emergency Services
  • Social Work and Social Inclusion
  • Sports and Recreation
  • Outstanding Group

For more information on each category, click here.

This year we will also be handing out a Special Commendation for an outstanding Volunteer Manager.

How do I choose a category?
Choose the category that best suits the organisation that the nominee volunteers with. Don’t worry too much if you are unsure which one to choose, we will correct the category if it is not the most suitable.

For more information on each category, click here.

How are nominees shortlisted?
– Nominations will be collated and names will be removed before shortlisting. A shortlisting panel reviews the anonymous nominations.
– Nominations will only be judged on the information provided in the original nomination form.
– Each nomination will be read and scored a minimum of two times by separate judges.

What are the Marking Criteria?

  • The dedication to their volunteer role
  • The impact on their community or cause
  • The demonstration of creativity, initiative or passion
  • Bonus Point: Outstanding contribution as a volunteer

How is the recipient of the Christine Buckley Volunteer of the Year Award selected?
After shortlisting, the top-scoring nominations in each category are read and scored by the judging panel to determine Ireland’s Volunteer of the Year.  They will then receive the Christine Buckley Volunteer of the Year Award at the Ceremony on December 1st.

What is the Community Hero Award 2017?
Shortlisted Nominees are automatically entered for consideration in the Community Hero Award 2017 in association with the The Wheel and will be subject to the terms and conditions of this awards initiative. More information on this awards scheme will be available shortly at

Terms & Conditions 

Click here to read the Volunteer Ireland Awards Terms and Conditions 2017.