Volunteer Ireland
Connecting Communities Through Volunteering

Volunteer Ireland Awardees 2020 Announced

Every autumn people from all over Ireland nominate their neighbors, family, friends, colleagues and community supporters for the chance to win a Volunteer Ireland Award.

Read this year’s incredible awardee’s stories…



The Volunteer Ireland Awards are the major annual initiative to celebrate volunteers in Ireland. The awards shine a light on the remarkable achievements of volunteers around the country by honoring them at a national level. Volunteer Ireland is proud to have President Michael D. Higgins as Patron of the Awards.

Nominations & Judging

The awards began with a public call for nominations. Nominations were open from late August to early October but are now closed. Anyone could nominate a volunteer, someone they know who gives their time and energy voluntarily and without pay.

Individual volunteers or volunteer duos could be nominated in 1 of 9 categories. These categories reflect different facets of volunteering, such as social inclusion, sport, safety, youth work etc. This year we also included a category for COVID-19, to recognise the incredible contribution of volunteers in responding to local needs during COVID-19.

Groups of volunteers could also be nominated, there is a small group category (3-20 volunteers) and a large group category (20+ volunteers)

The final category recognises volunteer managers, those who lead volunteers and manage volunteer programmes. This category is different as volunteer managers can be in either a paid or unpaid position.

All nominations are adjudicated by a shortlisting team and a panel of judges. Three awardees are selected in each category and one truly exceptional volunteer is named Christine Buckley Volunteer of the Year.

Recognising Every Nomination

Every volunteer that is nominated will receive a thank you card from Volunteer Ireland. We want to let everyone who is nominated know that their contributions are greatly valued and that someone took the time to put them forward for an award.

Celebrating Our Awardees

Awardees’ volunteer stories will be shared across our social media channels and with local and national press. By sharing these incredible volunteers’ stories we are honouring their contribution to Irish society and also inspiring others to get involved.

We will be announcing this year’s Awardees here on our website at 10am on the 5th of December.

Communty Hero Award

This award is a unique collaboration between the Volunteer Ireland Awards and The Wheel’s Charity Impact Awards. The Community Hero Award is a lifetime achievement award honouring a volunteer who has made an extraordinary contribution to a good cause.

The 10 longest serving awardees from the Volunteer Ireland Awards are eligible to be selected for the Community Hero Award. The Wheel’s judging panel will select the winner who will be celebrated at The Wheel’s Charity Impact Awards December.

Award Sponsors

We would like to thank the department of Rural and Community Development for their kind support of the Volunteer Ireland Awards. We are so pleased to be partnering with Healthy Ireland again this year. And we are delighted to welcome GLS as our official delivery partner, who will be supporting us to celebrate our amazing awardees in this very unusual year.

Read more about our award sponsors and how your company can get involved here.