Outstanding Volunteer award for Kilkenny man

Kilkenny native John Sullivan has won first prize in the Ireland Involved Awards 2011, Children and Young People Category, in recognition of his work with Foróige.

Kilkenny native John Sullivan has won first prize in the Ireland Involved Awards 2011, Children and Young People Category, in recognition of his work with Foróige.

Nominated by Foróige support worker Rosie O’Brien, John has volunteered in his local Foróige Youth Club since 1964. He attends his local club weekly get-togethers, encouraging young people to reach their full potential. John is chairman of Kilkenny District Council and has also served as the national chairperson of Foróige.

John has a belief in young people and their capabilities to change the world. He is an inspiration to many volunteers within the Foróige organisation. He has given his time selflessly to Foróige for nearly half a century and continues to open the doors of his local Foróige Club in Cuffesgrange-Danesfort each year.

Even when premises were difficult to find, John worked with his fellow volunteer leaders to find a place for local young people to meet. “He is an amazing man, full of stories. John embodies active citizenship and challenges everyone to get involved to make Ireland a better place,” according to Volunteer Ireland.

“John is a loveable character with many tales to tell on how Ireland has changed over his lifetime, but the needs of young people remain constant – young people need to be listened too, have a safe place to meet, a sense of belonging, a place to be all that they can be and for someone to believe in them.”

John was among 33 volunteers to be shortlisted for this year’s awards, and was recognised at the Ireland Involved Awards ceremony at Dublin Castle on December 5 in the presence of President Michael D. Higgins.

Volunteer Ireland is the national volunteer development agency and representative voice for the 24 volunteer centres in Ireland. It works to inspire, support and celebrate voluntary activity in Ireland.