All of the judges were taken back by the selfless and humble volunteering acts of our next winner for Best Volunteer for Ongoing Community Involvement. He supports a diverse array of organisations and charities, dedicating over 60 hours each month volunteering to four very humble causes.Most notably he spent 2 weeks in India supporting an orphanage which cares for children whose parents are from the '?rat catchers' cast, who are shunned by society and are therefore too poor to look after their own children. Our winner felt really passionately about helping these children, particularly after seeing photos of the conditions in which they lived. He set himself a target of raising Â£20,000 through fundraising, which would be used to build an orphanage to house 100 children in Tanali, India; he exceeded his expectations as he raised a phenomenal Â£28,000. Following his visit to India this year our winner has decided to make this a lifetime commitment.
Upon his return to his home in Ireland, our winner decided to help young children in his local community. He spends every Monday volunteering at the Northern Ireland's Children's Hospice as a Support Worker, where his duties can vary from making tea, providing a shoulder to cry on, to cleaning the toilets.
The death of a close friend due to drug abuse was the motivation behind our winner's next act of volunteering. He is a trained and registered volunteer with The Forum for action of substance and alcohol abuse (FASA), where he supports people who are considering suicide, as well as those who suffer with additions to drugs and alcohol.
In addition to all of this, our winner also volunteers at a prison, where as part of his role he provides counselling for the prisoners. He has built up a real sense of trust with the prisoners and he is confident that his support acts a large step towards their rehabilitation.