CORK city has recognised some of its greatest citizens with the annual Lord Mayor’s Cultural, Civic, Community and Voluntary Awards.
The final award ceremony, which was held in the form of a special broadcast on Cork City Council’s YouTube account this afternoon, saw two local youth activists recognised for their contribution to youth advocacy and representation.
Salma Waleed of Cork City Comhairle na nÓg and Alicia O’Donovan of YMCA Ireland were both recognised for their efforts in their respective roles within their community.
Salma Waleed is heavily involved with Cork City Comhairle na nÓg and was at the forefront of its suicide prevention awareness campaign, Turning Tides, last year.
The child and youth council gives children and young people under the age of 18 the opportunity to be involved in the development of local services, policies and issues that affect them in their local area.
The aim of the Turning Tides project was to raise awareness of and break down barriers to the key help services for people who may be feeling suicidal in Cork city, to visit youth groups, clubs, youth centres and schools to inform young people about the campaign and important awareness information, and to explore reasons for the lack of suicide awareness training for under 18’s in Ireland.
Alicia O’Donovan is involved with YMCA Ireland, a voluntary organisation that works with children, young people, families and the community, with particular regard to those who are disadvantaged and disaffected.
In 2018, the Skibbereen native took home the win at the ESB Creative Tech Fest, where she was chosen from among 300 young people from all over the country to be TechSpacer of the Year, as well as winning the Create with Purpose award for the short film she directed entitled I Care, a personal account of what inspires her.
Alicia has visited Romanian orphanages on an Erasmus project and has worked on YMCA projects on cybersecurity and online safety.
Speaking about the strong ties Cork people have to their community, which was evident in the awards received by locals this week, The Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr John Sheehan said: “Cork people have always been known for their strong ties to their community but the unity of purpose that I have seen in our communities over the past three and a half months, demonstrates that even in times of great uncertainty, there is a wonderful tenderness and beauty.”