CORK International Hotel has put out a call to action for communities to celebrate their unsung heroes.
The Cork International Hotel Community Spirit Award has been put in place to honour volunteers. A group or individual will be selected every month, with an overall winner chosen at the end of the year.
The first monthly winner is Jamie O’Toole, from Ringaskiddy, who co-ordinated his local Tidy Towns committee.
He has also arranged litter collections and is known for his helpful nature. Mr O’Toole is also credited with lifting spirits during lockdown with his Saturday night Zoom sessions.
Deputy general manager of the Cork International Hotel, Eoghan Murphy, said: “We are delighted to see Jamie pick up the first award this year,” he said. “The local community in Ringaskiddy is so proud of him and all he does for the village.
"He looks out for everyone, while also taking care of the village and keeping people entertained on Zoom with bingo.
"There are remarkable people within our community, who selflessly give their time and talent to benefit others.”
Mr Murphy emphasised the importance of community volunteers.
“We want to recognise these individuals and groups and highlight the phenomenal contributions they have made to all our lives,” Mr Murphy said. “The last year has been challenging for everyone and that is why it is so important that we recognise those who go above and beyond for others.”
Senior executive officer at Cork County Council, Nicola Radley, shared his sentiment.
“These awards are a wonderful way to recognise the organisations in our locality and their volunteers,” Ms Radley said.
The awards are open to community groups and organisations in Cork, from first-responders to community centres, victim-support services to sports groups and volunteers in the health and disability sectors. They cover the south Cork area, stretching from Rochestown, Douglas, and Togher to Kinsale, Crosshaven, and Passage West.
Nominations can be made here.