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Bundoran volunteer receives national award for youth work

Killian O'Kelly 3
A Bundoran man who came to the rescue of Bundoran’s Foroige project has won a top award in this years Panadol supported Volunteer Ireland Awards.

Killian O’Kelly won the Children and Youth category and is one of 12 successful awardees in Ireland’s major annual volunteer recognition event.

Killian’s success was announced at a gala Volunteer Ireland Awards 2013 ceremony supported by Panadol and hosted by RTE Presenter Keelin Shanley on Thursday night. President Michael D. Higgins is Patron of the Volunteer Ireland Awards since 2011.

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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 own business, free of charge, for a year until Foróige was able to build up funds to secure their own rent.

Killian then came on board as a volunteer and began providing surf coaching to young people free of charge every summer, 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.”

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