A Cork woman has been named as a winner at the national Volunteer Ireland Awards, following years of work in her local community.
Pauline Matthews from Blackrock was nominated for the Volunteer Ireland Awards under the category for Social Inclusion and Community Support earlier this year.
Ms Matthews was shortlisted for the category by a panel of judges and has today been named as the winner.
With her work, Ms Matthews tutors the over 55s and conducts one on one mentoring as part of the Age Action Digital Literacy Programme, providing older people with the confidence to use electronic devices and to embrace digital literacy.
The category in which Ms Matthew was named as the inner, recognises volunteers who strive to make sure that there is a place for everyone in Irish society and those who are devoted to supporting their community.
Speaking on the award, Pauline Matthews said that she was not expecting to win.
“My reaction initially was one of complete and utter amazement. I was absolutely ecstatic,” she said.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would be a winner. I knew that I was nominated and I thought it was very nice, but to win a national competition - not at all.
“I love my involvement with Age Action I find it very rewarding and I met lovely people, but I would never have expected anything for it,” she added.
Pauline Matthews has been involved in the programme for five years and took on the role after she retired from her job as a teacher.
Community involvement, however, is not new to Ms Matthews who also runs a Facebook Group called ‘RetireLessCork’ where she shares activities of interest to people in her age group, as well as a local walking group.
She has also been involved in the Cork Folklore Project and the Cork International Choir Festival for many years.
Ms Matthews was the only member of the Cork Volunteer Centre to be announced as a winner at the national awards, which took place online this year.
“We’re really, really proud that there is a Cork winner in the national awards and on behalf of all of the team at Cork Volunteer Centre, I would like to wholeheartedly congratulate Pauline on the win,” said Julie Connelly, Manager at Cork Volunteer Centre.