Limerick Garda Youth Awards 2020 – Amy Mulcahy (pictured above) was one of the four Individual Garda Youth Award Winners
Limerick Garda Youth Awards 2020 celebrates young people from Limerick
By I Love Limerick Correspondent Tara Byrne
The Limerick Garda Youth Awards 2020 took place virtually on April 29. There were four group winners and four individual winners chosen for the 7th year of this annual event.
Sponsored by the Garvey Group, which has stores in Corbally, Adare and Newcastle West, the Limerick Garda Youth Awards 2020 aim to honour young people aged between 13 and 21 who have made a significant contribution to their local community.
Individual Awards are awarded to young adults who are making a positive contribution to their community and making it a better place to live. Group Awards are awarded to a group of two or more people that make a positive contribution to their community. Awards are presented to nominees from each of the four garda districts in the division- these include Limerick City North (Henry Street), Limerick City south (Roxboro Road), Newcastle West, and Bruff.
The recipients of the Individual Limerick Garda Youth Awards 2020 are Amy Mulcahy, Castletroy College; Callum Hedderman, John The Baptist Community School Hospital, Emily O’Shaughnessy, Janesboro and Wesley Joyce, Cliona Park, Moyross.
The recipients of the Group Limerick Garda Youth Awards 2020 are The Butterfly Club from Rathkeale, The Lava Javas Youth Committee from Limerick Youth Service, TY students Aisling Cahill, Anna Graham, Eva Mullin, Fiona O Connor, Rachael Barron and Sorcha Reale from Laurel Hill Colaiste and Homeless Not Hopeless group who are all TY students at Scoil Pól in Kilfinane.
The first-ever Garda Divisional Youth Awards was created by a local Juvenile Liaison Officer in West Cork in 1995. He noticed that the young people in the community were doing tremendous things that deserved recognition. The awards have grown in leaps and bounds since their humble beginnings.
Mayor Cllr Michael Collins of Limerick City and County Council commenting on the awards said, “The Limerick Garda Youth Awards celebrate and honour young people who have helped to create better communities, overcome difficulties in their lives and display exceptional courage and bravery. You are the future and given what you have achieved already, in your short few years, we are in very safe hands here in Limerick.”
He added, “You should be very proud of your achievements. Our young people are very special and you deserve to be honoured, you have looked out into your communities and thought ‘what can I do to make a difference?’ You have worked tirelessly to help others and in doing so you have helped yourselves.”
Congrats to Emily O'Shaughnessy on her success at the #Limerick Garda Youth Awards. Emily has been with Limerick Youth Service for almost 10yrs as a member of our Queen of Peace Youth Club, junior leader & volunteer 👏🏾 #limyouth #lys @LimClareETB_YW @LimClareETB pic.twitter.com/VhfrhKMPSb
— LimerickYouthService (@limerickyouth) April 29, 2021
ABOUT THE AWARDEES
Amy is a student at Castletroy College who suffered life-changing injuries in a boating accident in 2019 where she was left with catastrophic injuries to her sight, speech and walk. Since then Amy has inspired everyone around her by her sheer resilience and determination. Despite her physical challenges, Amy goes to school every day and she does this with a smile on her face. She is an inspiration to her classmates, teachers and everyone who is lucky enough to know her through her attitude to life, her ability to strive and achieve at everything she does. Each day Amy continues to defy medical opinion by tackling all her life-changing challenges with sheer determination, enthusiasm and will power.
Callum Hedderman is a student of John the Baptist Community School in Hospital Co Limerick. Callum is currently president of the Student Council in John the Baptist. He is involved in various groups and plays a very positive leadership role in both the school and in his community. During ‘lockdown’ Callum was instrumental in writing a programme for sustainable living which was rolled out by Scouting Ireland for use across the country and is being used not only by Scouts but by families and other youth and school groups. Callum also helped out his local community by volunteering his time to deliver goods and messages to the elderly in the community during the Covid 19 lockdown. Last year Callum ran a 100 kilometre in February and another 100 kilometres in July to raise awareness and funds for Limerick Mental Health and the matter foundation. Callum has a great sense of community spirit and a willingness to help others.
Emily O Shaughnessy is currently studying Business and Irish at Mary Immaculate College where she has recently been elected Irish and Culture officer. Emily has been a volunteer youth leader at the Queen of Peace youth club in Janesboro since she was 15 years old and continues to volunteer her time. Emily travelled to India with the Hope Foundation after raising much-needed funds to help street children of India. Emily’s father sadly passed away from a terminal illness and following this Emily decided to raise funds for a local charity that grants dying wishes to adults with a terminal diagnosis. Emily managed to raise an amazing €11,000 for this charity. Emily gives her time freely and with great enthusiasm and has brought great joy to many different people through her generosity and goodwill.
Wesley Joyce has been a participant in the Moyross Garda Youth Diversion Project from an early age. Wesley got involved with the Equine Programme through the project and has a significant love and talent for and with horses which has led to a career path for him. He has overcome many hurdles in his life to get where he is today. He was unsuccessful in his first trial for the Race Academy and Centre of Education but he did not let this stop him. He put his efforts and energy into his fitness, nutrition and horse-riding ability and more than just that, his attitude, motivation and application, all of which led to him securing a well-deserved place at the RACE academy. After 2 years of training, Wesley graduated from RACE and is currently working with world-renowned Jockey and trainer Johnny Murtagh. Wesley had his first professional race in February of this year in Dundalk getting bet ahead on the line. Wesley is an inspiration to other young people and a prime example of how determination and hard work pay off.
The Butterfly Club
The Butterfly Club is a Social Club for 55 Children based in the West Limerick Region. The unit is based in Rathkeale Industrial estate. All the children who attend the butterfly club have special needs. Each Saturday students (18 in total) from a number of secondary schools in West Limerick offer their time and assistance to ensure the children attending the club enjoy various activities such as (games, artwork, making jigsaws, etc.) Each Month the students volunteer in taking the children swimming, bowling and other activities outside the unit. The students are a wonderful influence on the children and they see the student volunteers as their friends rather than teachers. Without the support and time that these students give, the butterfly club would struggle to offer the required number of activities to ensure quality club time for these special needs children.
The Lava Javas Youth Committee
The Lava Java youth café is run by youths for youths. The committee is made up of 9 members and they are the engagement point that helps steer the youth work delivery in the café. Before covid 19 each member of the youth committee committed their Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights to the running of the youth café to ensure young people had a safe place to hang out and enjoy themselves. The Coronavirus didn’t stop them either and they made their café a remote project. They had committee meetings through zoom each week and came up with ways to keep young people safe and engaged while in lockdown. This youth committee is resilient, confident and extremely determined. They are a diverse group of young people who themselves face their own challenges and yet they are willing to give up so much of their free time to helping others and giving youths a voice.
Aisling Cahill, Anna Graham, Eva Mullin, Fiona O Connor, Rachael Barron and Sorcha Reale
TY students from Laurel Hill Colaiste who every week work with the third class student in a DEIS primary school to boost their literacy and add value to a recognised literacy programme known as Accelerated Reader. The students meet every Tuesday afternoon to support 6 children remotely from our Lady of Lourdes National School with their reading. The children love the afternoons with their TY Student ‘Buddy’ and enjoy the opportunity to talk with an older young person who gives the child individual attention. The students have faced and overcome many obstacles since the beginning of Covid 19 such as identifying a suitable venue to host the children, communication platform and connectivity. These 6 girls are an exemplary example to other young people on how to support younger children in education and the power of positive role modelling.
Homeless not Hopeless
TY students from Scoil Pol in Kilfinane decided it was time to take action to show people that homelessness has not gone away due to Covid 19. To launch this campaign “Homeless not Helpless” the class organised a socially distanced protest on the footpaths of Kilfinane. Over 230 students lined the footpaths to highlight the current high figures of homeless people on the streets of Limerick. As well as this and with the help of local businesses and money they collected through donations, the class prepared care packages which they donated to Novas, a homeless organisation. This is only the beginning of their journey and we are told they are continuing with their campaign and have other plans to raise awareness of the topic of homelessness.
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