Honouring the heroes
Volunteers shine at first PPN Louth awards night
They often work away in the background, playing vital roles without fuss or reward, volunteers to the core.
But last Wednesday night, in the glorious surroundings of Bellingham Castle, Louth's top volunteers stepped into the limelight - for one night only - (just how they like it).
The inaugural PPN awards, spearheaded by Louth County Council, were a celebration of the unsung heroes and the incredible work they do.
Indeed, fitting words from Chief Executive Joan Martin summed up their role - 'They do amazing, invaluable work. They are irreplaceable, their efforts beyond measure,' she stated.
'Voluntary people do it for the love of communities, even if the work is challenging. They are tremendous,' she added.
The PPN is the umbrella body for a host of different groups, from animal welfare to senior citizen lobbyists, workers and health rights to sports clubs and religious groups.
Council cathaoirleach Paul Bell, who attended with Mayor Oliver Tully and Cllr Mark Dearey, was also rich in his praise of the volunteering sector. 'They do the work in support of their fellow citizens. Each one gives so much for so little. You provide the leadership,' he continued.
John Mulligan, Group Editor, Drogheda Independent Group, incorporating media sponsors, the Drogheda Independent and The Argus, said as a newspaper group, they were delighted to be part of the night.
'This night is about recognising people who do fantastic work,' he stated, adding that Louth County Council do 'terrific work' as part of their own community service.
He said newspapers continue to be part of our communities and nights like this were vital to keep that bond going. He thanked Darren Hughes of MediaConsult for his role in the promotion of the scheme.
Tony Mullins from the PPN body also highlighted the role of Charlene Duff who came up with the suggestion for such a night, feeling the council needed to recognise the efforts of people over many years.
As he said, a number of people were nominated and he was delighted to see the numbers that attended on the night, covering a broad spectrum of groups.
He further welcomed Ciaran Reid of the Louth Leader Partnership who attended on the night.