Killian O’Kelly has been nominated in the Children and Youth Category and is one of 31 volunteers on the shortlist in Ireland’s major annual volunteer recognition event.
An overall Volunteer of the Year and ten Category Awardees will be announced on Thursday, December 5th in Dublin City Hall at a gala Volunteer Ireland Awards ceremony supported by Panadol and hosted by RTE Presenter Keelin Shanley.
Killian O’Kelly came to the rescue of Bundoran’s Foróige Youth and Family support project five years ago when the project received a cut in funding from the HSE. Killian offered a free space for the youth project to continue in his very own business, free of charge, for a full year until Foróige were able to build up enough funds to secure their own rent.
Killian then came on board as a volunteer and began providing surf coaching to the young people in the project free of charge every summer for 4 months, helping young people to learn and develop a skill that could stay with them for life. This was the highlight of the young people’s summer and every week 60 young people could avail of this wonderful free service thanks to Killian and his kind nature.
Killian also got involved in the Bundoran NYP Make a Wish that allocated 30 wishes to come true for young people in the area. As a keen RNLI volunteer, Killian has also offered free life saving classes to the young people of Bundoran.
Caroline Cooke who nominated Killian for a Volunteer Ireland Award said: “In a time where we need it most, Killian provides something that can seem so simple but yet makes a huge difference, his time. One parent involved in the project had said to me before that if every community around Ireland had a Killian O’Kelly in it, then the country would be rich with kindness, value, hope and a very bright future for young people and families.”
Donegal Volunteer Centre Manager John Curran congratulated people who were nominated. He said that the number of nominations had more than doubled on last year and included a very wide range of people from all corners of the country.
“We have received some really incredible stories about inspirational people in every part of the country. Given this, it is a huge achievement to make the shortlist.”