A CARING Kerry couple, who have been spearheading a charity to help children from Chernobyl for over 20 years, have been shortlisted for this year’s Volunteer Ireland Awards.
George and Mary Sugrue have donated so much time and energy to Chernobyl Children International for the past two decades and they have been shortlisted for recognition from over 500 nominations.
2017 marks the tenth year of the awards which will be presented on December 1 at the closing ceremony of Sligo’s designation as European Volunteering Capital.
The awards aim to celebrate the extraordinary dedication that nominees have shown to help others, often taking time away from family and friends to give back.
George and Mary, from Tralee, founded and single-handedly run the Chernobyl Children International dental programme and each year they drive over 3,000km to provide high standard care to children who have been abandoned to children’s mental asylums.
This year, they have expanded their programme with a mobile dental unit which is used to treat terminally ill children in hospice and palliative care, reaching almost 200 children with life-limiting illnesses. 2017 marked their 21st convoy and George and Mary have been nominated in the social work and social inclusion category.
Kerry Volunteer Centre Manager, Geraldine O’Sullivan, remarked: “We are particularly lucky in Kerry to have exceptional volunteers like George and Mary who help our community thrive. The awards allow us to really celebrate and showcase everything that these volunteers do but most of all they give us an opportunity to say thank you.”
For more information on the Volunteer Ireland Awards 2017 or to read the inspiring stories of the shortlisted volunteers, go to www.volunteer.ie
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