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Volunteer Awards 2024: winners announced

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Irish in Britian announces the winners and runners up in this year's Volunteer Awards.

We are delighted to announce our winners for the Irish in Britain Volunteer Awards 2024, our Awards ceremony will take place at the Irish Cultural Centre, Hammersmith on 19 June.

We want to express our gratitude to our event sponsors Clover HR and to our three judges: John Jolly, Christina Lake and Deborah Forster who had the very difficult task of choosing the winners and runners up this year.

Individual Volunteer Award

Winner- Maeve Heath (Irish Elderly Advice Network)

Maeve is 85 years old, and has volunteered weekly with the Irish Elderly Advice Network for over 20 years!

Maeve’s contributions to the charity include shopping for supplies, cooking and serving meals at a weekly lunch club (providing advice and reducing isolation to the members), cleaning offices, preparing lunch for advice workers, and always being there to welcome and advocate for our community.

Maeve is described by colleagues as championing older Irish people in London and being the backbone of the local community!

Runner Up- Sean McMahon (Irish Community Care Merseyside)  

Runner Up- Alan Worswick (Ashton Comhaltas / Brian Boru IDL Club)

Trustee Volunteer

Winner- John McCarthy (The Traveller Movement) 

John has undertaken a voluntary role as Trustee of The Traveller Movement for a number of years and has sat on boards both here and in Ireland for 30 years! John’s role involves encouraging engagement and looking for positive progress.

John's dedication to his role as Trustee of The Traveller Movement is described by colleagues as truly commendable and demonstrating an unwavering commitment to seek out opportunities to further the organisation's mission and amplify its impact, notwithstanding the challenging external environment of the work, to tackle discrimination.

John serves as a powerful advocate and spokesperson of The Traveller Movement, and is a true champion for social justice and equality

Runner Up- Colum Mackey (Lewisham Irish Centre)

Runner Up- Barabra Aherne (Irish Community Care Manchester)

Volunteer Group

Winner- The Ramblers (Birmingham Irish Association) 

The seeds of this walking group were planted during the Covid-19 pandemic when so many people became socially isolated. After lockdown rules were eased Activities Worker, Terry Nash, started doing health walks in an around the local area. These walks helped people reconnect with friends they hadn’t seen in months and enabled them to get active again after lockdown.

The walks have since more adventurous and are hugely beneficial, they alleviate social isolation for Irish elders, connect people to nature, open up new learning experiences, boost confidence, give those taking part something to look forward to weekly, keep them fit which has a positive effect on their physical health and mental wellbeing.

Runner Up- Tír na nÓg (Jersey Irish Association)

Runner Up- Leeds Irish Health and Homes Luncheon Club

 Young Volunteer

Quincy Majekadegbe (Irish Community Care Manchester)

Quincy was born in Limerick and moved to Manchester at the age of 14, he wanted to volunteer with Irish Community Care Manchester to reconnect with his Irish roots while gaining confidence and helping his community after graduating from Salford University with a degree in Computer Science this year.

Qunicy volunteers at Manchester Community Care’s social lunch clubs.

Many of their service users have limited contact with younger people and so being able to chat to Quincy weekly has made a measurable difference to their lives.

Quincy is described by colleagues as an extremely hardworking, diligent and conscientious young man, whose work ethic, kindness and ability to make others feel at ease is a credit to him and the Irish Community.

Special Recognition Award

Irish in Britain created the Special Recognition Award in memory of the late David O’Keeffe, who was the General Manager of the Irish Cultural Centre until his sudden death in 2019. He had a distinguished career in community arts and media and championed our unique cultural contribution here in Britain. The recipient is chosen by the Irish in Britain team and is now an annual feature of the awards.

This year we are pleased to announce that Irish In Britain’s CEO, Brian Dalton, will present the award to Dr Tony Murray. Tony's parents came to London from the west of Ireland in the early 1950s. He grew up in a close-knit Irish community in Holloway and spent most summers with his family in Mayo and Donegal. His long career of activism and academic work have ensured that the rich contribution the Irish community has made as migrants in Britain is recognised and understood.

He worked at the Irish Studies Centre and took over as Director in 2012 and he established the hugely successful Irish Writers in London Summer School in 1996. He is best known to many for his work in developing the Archive of the Irish in Britain in London Metropolitan University. For nearly 30 years, he was the in-house consultant to countless students, researchers and journalists about Irish migration to Britain. He expanded the Archive’s collections, secured funding for better preservation and extended outreach to the community.

Although now retired, Tony continues to work within the Irish community and the Archive and ensures at risk records of Irish life and community organisations are not lost. Irish in Britain benefitted from his invaluable advice and support from the very early stages of our 50th anniversary project, when his passion for celebrating the heritage of the Irish community in Britain helped inform the scope and ambition of the project.

Tony’s research, writing and leadership has brought our story to the public realm, reminding us of who we are and the road we have travelled. It is a legacy which enriches us all and we are deeply proud to honour him with this award.

We are grateful to architect and artist Angela Brady, who has once again created and donated a piece of glassware for this award, and Tony will receive this on the night.


We want to express our gratitude to all our generous sponsors, supporters and partners:

  • Our Sponsor for our Trustee Award - Moreland Investments Limited

Gifts in kind: