Killian O’Kelly, a Foróige volunteer in Bundoran, Co. Donegal has won an award in the category Youth & Children at the Volunteer Ireland Awards. Killian donated his own business space to the Foróige Bundoran Neighbourhood Youth Project when there was no room for the project to operate due to budget cuts. He has also offered surfing lessons to over 30 young people every summer over the last 5 years.
He says, “When I offered the space to the project I became exposed to the work that Foróige does. The staff practically help the kids and I have been inspired by them to become more involved. The work of the organisation as a whole is under-recognised. Bundoran is a tourist town and sometimes we are so caught up in the rush to compete with other tourist destinations that sometimes the town gets left behind in other ways.
On his nomination, “I was mortified! The truth is that I under-appreciate my own role as a volunteer. The small things that we do can be very much appreciated by the young people. It’s nice to see them progress. We have worked with some very shy kids who have been transformed. The staff at the project make volunteering so easy to do. They help the young people in very practical ways.”
On his win, “Mortified again!” Congratulations to Killian for winning this award, we are really chuffed for him.
The Volunteer Ireland Awards are a major annual initiative to celebrate volunteering in Ireland that are coordinated by Volunteer Ireland and supported by Panadol. The Volunteer Ireland Awards aims to shine a light on the remarkable work of volunteers around the country by celebrating them on a national level. Killian is pictured with well known radio presenter Dil Wickremasinghe.