From Wheel and Charity Impact Awards

A Co. Tipperary man who has volunteered with his local sports club for nearly half a century was today named as the winner of the 2021 Community Hero Award by The Wheel, the national association of charities and community organisations. 

Seamus O’Doherty (79) has volunteered in various roles with the Hillview Sports Club in Clonmel since his twenties. He has served as President through several terms and he is known locally as “Mr Hillview” for his long association with the club.

Among his many duties, Seamus is responsible for the club’s fundraising, and with the fear of the club doors closing this year due to the pandemic, he was finally persuaded to host online Bingo. Apart from making a success of the online Bingo, he has also learned how to access the internet and he has become a capable Zoom user. Seamus is also involved in a host of other initiatives, like the annual Wheelchair Association Dinner and the Ramadan celebration for the local Muslim Community.

Presented by The Wheel, the Community Hero Award is a lifetime achievement award honouring a volunteer who has made an extraordinary contribution to their community throughout their lifetime. The award was presented as part of The Wheel’s annual Charity Impact Awards.  This year, 87 people and organisations were nominated for the Awards, and the entries reflect the huge effort charities made this year to support the people and communities they serve, often under very challenging financial circumstances.

The other winners of the Charity Impact Awards are:

  • Lifeline Domestic Violence Service won the Impact Award for Small Organisations. They provides support services for victims of domestic violence in the Inishowen area of Co. Donegal, which is geographically remote and economically challenged.
  • The Impact Award for Medium-sized Organisations went to Leave No Trace Ireland, a charity that promotes ethical outdoor recreation. According to the charity, the increase in outdoor recreation over the last 18 months has led to a dramatic increase in litter, water pollution, as well as disturbance to vegetation, wildlife, livestock and other people. 
  • The Irish Cancer Society won the Impact Award for Large Organisations. The pandemic is presenting serious and lasting challenges to those affected by cancer, and their work is now more important than ever. 
  • The Charity Trustee of the Year Award went to Marion Briggs of Friends of the Earth.
  • My Mind, a social enterprise that provides accessible and affordable psychological therapy, was named Social Enterprise of the Year.

Commenting on the announcement of the winners, Deirdre Garvey CEO of The Wheel said, “The response to the Covid-19 pandemic has shone a light on the work of Ireland’s charities and community groups.  In times of real crisis, these organisations are at the forefront of our national response. But this work often goes unseen or is misunderstood. Through these Awards we hope to give some recognition to the staff and volunteers who are active in our communities every day of the year.”

The Charity Impact Awards are supported by Medtronic and the Department of Rural and Community Development. 

For more information on the Charity Impact Awards and the winners visit

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