Edward Devery

Athlone Community Radio

Co. Westmeath 

Edward Devery, originally from Ferbane, Co. Offaly, utilizes his own experiences dealing with the challenges of mental health issues to research, write, and present a programme at Athlone Community Radio. Beginning as a researcher, Ed quickly added a short positive affirmation slot to the radio lineup, knowing the value of perspective in maintaining mental health. From there, his slot grew and explored practical strategies when dealing with mental illness, with a particular emphasis on mindfulness. This is a practice he has found immensely helpful in his own life, and can benefit listeners at any point in their journey to mental wellbeing. Ed has also shared his poetry and the therapeutic value of having creative outlets.  His program also helps to spread knowledge and increase awareness among the general public to promote understanding and lessen harassment or bullying of people dealing with mental health issues.   

Ed’s bravery, professionality, and openmindedness are assets to the programme and to the Athlone community generally.  He is a member of the Volunteer Sub-Committee where he actively advocates to make the radio more inclusive for volunteers. His passion for clear communication and an awareness of the experience of others has made the team at the radio stronger.   

“The beautiful outcome of his collaboration with us is educating the public on this sensitive topic and providing help for those who need it,” writes his manager at Athlone Community Radio, “this is precisely what our radio aims for, and we are proud to have Ed with us.” 

Diarmuid Gallagher

spunout – Ireland’s youth information and support platform

Co. Dublin 

Diarmuid Gallagher is a content contributor, action panel member and a national action panel member for spunout, Ireland’s youth information and support platform. He has worked on campaigns for sex education, mental health, and housing, including sharing a powerful perspective on how the housing crisis has impacted his path in life. Last year, Diarmuid spoke at a Digital and Innovation Summit to explain spunout’s work and why it’s important. He has also spoken at events to help promote youth volunteering in organizations. All of this works to secure funding for future campaigns aimed at young people and their unique challenges.  

Over the last three years, Diarmuid has shown a real commitment to destigmatizing conversations on mental health. As a young person, this is not an easy thing to talk about. He has been willing to share his story through articles and video content, which have been viewed by thousands of people. In the videos, he talks about his journey of recovery, what helped him, and what he learned, so that others feel empowered to seek help and put their mental wellness in the centre of their lives.  

Christy Gorman

Friends of the Elderly

Co. Dublin 

For the past 14 years, Christy Gorman has been the drummer for The Melodies, who play each week to almost 100 older people at a social club hosted by Friends of the Elderly. At only 84 years old, Christy’s stage presence, love of music, and dedication to the club has all the charm of a true rock star. His music is diverse across genre and time period, which is thrilling for the crowd who are often isolated, making the social club the highlight of their week. One fan notes that “to see the members dancing and singing and their appreciation for the music is just fantastic.” Over the years, Christy has clocked up a staggering 3000 hours of drumming at Friends of the Elderly clubs, cabarets and social events.  

Drumming since he was 10 years old, even after his father hid his drumsticks in frustration over hearing his constant practice, Christy came up on the show band circuit and loves encouraging young musicians. He recently took a young Ukrainian volunteer under his wing and is passionate about sharing the value of volunteering. “Christy is a special kind of volunteer in that he preaches to everyone about the benefits of sharing your talent no matter what it is, for the good of others.” writes his supervisor at Friends of the Elderly.  

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