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Toy Show boy's award for deaf campaign

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Quaid Cleland (10), volunteer with the Sign Language Association of Ireland

Quaid Cleland (10), volunteer with the Sign Language Association of Ireland

Quaid Cleland (10), volunteer with the Sign Language Association of Ireland

THE Rathfarnham schoolboy responsible for getting sign language on the Toy Show for the first time has become the youngest ever person to receive a Volunteer Ireland Award.

Ten-year-old Quaid Cleland was recognised for the contribution he has been making to the deaf community since he was six.

Quaid, who can hear, works to promote awareness of deafness and the use of sign language.

After a 12-month campaign, he appeared on last week’s Toy Show where he taught host Ryan Tubridy how to sign “Happy Christmas everyone” live on air.

He joined nine other volunteers awarded at a gala event by VOlunteer Ireland in Dublin City Hall last night.

This is not Quaid’s first time being recognised for his work to promote sign language. He was crowned Young Learner of the Year at the 2014 Signature Annual Awards in Durham, England.

He has also met Taoiseach Enda Kenny to talk about his Get Ireland Signing Campaign. Quaid’s mum, Dervla, introduced him to signing when she began 0studying for a qualification.

On top of his lobbying skills, the impressive pupil also visits elderly residents in a retirement home for deaf people. And in keeping with the festive spirit, he also helped Santa communicate with deaf children at the RDS.

Kilkenny man Jim Kavanagh was recognised last night for his work with Belarus orphanages. He has driven the 6,000-mile round-trip 20 times to deliver nappies and other supplies.

hnews@herald.ie


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