A NEWBRIDGE student has been acknowledged for her outstanding acts of volunteerism in the local community.
Youth volunteer Clíodhna Malone has been recognised in the 2017 Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards for the dedication she has demonstrated in service to her community. The awards are the only all-Ireland youth initiative of its kind which rewards post-primary students for their volunteer efforts.
Clíodhna, a fifth year student at Holy Family Secondary School, began volunteering at the age of nine to help her brother who has autism and her friend who has Down Syndrome. She volunteers with Jumping Jellybeans which is a club for children with special needs and encourages the children there to take part in the classes and helps them follow instructions.
She is a buddy to many children at the club who have autism, Down syndrome and chromosome disorders. Through her work at the Club, Clíodhna was introduced to CARA Projects, a charity that completes volunteering projects in Kenya. In February 2016 she travelled to Nairobi to volunteer at a Girls Refuge Centre. She was the youngest member of the team and she raised over €2,000 for the organisation.
“Clíodhna has consistently shown herself to be a caring, compassionate, positive and co-operative person,” said school principal Angela Ryan.
“She is bright articulate and hugely empathetic to the needs of those around her.”
Clíodhna will be presented with €500 and an engraved silver medallion at the gala awards ceremony on 23 March at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dublin with special guest speaker Irish international rugby player Jordi Murphy.
At the gala, two of the 20 students receiving the award, will be named All-Ireland Youth Volunteers of the Year, receiving €1,000, a gold medallion, a crystal trophy for their school and an all-expense paid trip to the United States in May to participate in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards ceremony.