By Liam Maguire (Area Director of Units)
Bailieborough Branch have chosen to celebrate this year’s 75th anniversary by formally recognising the hard work and dedicated volunteering offered by 10 awardees who were honoured for their service to the branch on October 3rd.
The services offered by Bert Coote, Jimmy Stewart, Raymond Lloyd, all of whom have offered 54 years of service, Brendan Bird who has offered 50 years of service, Sadie Gray who has offered 53 years of service, Martina McPhillips who has offered 40 years of service, Peter McCabe, John Kennedy and Lilly Martin all of whom have offered 25 years of service and remembering another valued member, Pearl Lloyd wife of Raymond and sister of Sadie, who died earlier this year. We also remember her 53 years of committed service to the Irish Red Cross here in Bailieborough.
Cumulatively, this service award represents 433 years of committed service. This is a huge commitment offered by a handful of volunteers who are a constant presence in the community. Our awardees have given their time, commitment, service and expertise to the various services offered by the Irish Red Cross. From our first aid services to our involvement in the provision of services to the community to include our therapeutic hand care service, our services to the elderly and our attendance at the blood banks where these volunteers worked and continue to work relentlessly to ensure the highest level of community care is given to all in the local and surrounding communities. As ADU, I thank you for all your years of dedication and hard work.
It is as a result of your hard work down through the years that the Baileborough Branch have had the opportunity to extend the services which the Irish Red Cross can offer to the community. For example we now have a thriving youth department who meet every week, we are able to offer the carer of the year award where members of the public can be nominated to receive an award for the self-less hours they offer to care for a loved one. It ensures that each carer nominated, receives an acknowledgement of their time they give up to care for a loved one or an isolated neighbour. You have helped us to grow and expand our education sector of the Irish Red Cross where we are now able to offer lifesaving defibrillator and practical first aid courses to members of the public. You have also continued to support and encourage the work our first aid unit provides to local events. Our public first aid duties have continued to grow this summer and this is only possible with both your continued support and the support of the local community.
You are always available to stand with a bucket in your hand shaking to raise funds. I recall reading back through an old minutes book where fundraising was a key element of branch activity. You have helped raise funds to offer day trips to members of the community. I’m glad to say that these services are still provided to the community although slightly altered now in the summer with our successful tea party, always a welcome favourite come the first Wednesday of July every year.
You are always on offer to lend a hand. From the provision of services, to keeping a roof over our head, you have played a key role in developing, maintaining, extending and inventing new ideas for the greater good of the public in this community. You know how difficult it is and so I offer my thanks and appreciation to you for all your continued dedication.
Often times the work of the volunteer goes overlooked. This is not to say that we volunteer for public accreditation. We do it simply for the greater good of the community. We quietly work away in the back ground, promoting our seven fundamental principles, Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Unity and Universality and then quickly run in the opposite direction once a camera is produced. You have helped the Irish Red Cross continue in its vision to be a leading humanitarian organisation, providing impartial services and support to vulnerable communities both at home and abroad. It can be safely said that through your actions you have selflessly given your time to promote this vision. I have no doubt that you will continue to strive for this vision and promote the services of the Irish Red Cross in the local and neighbouring communities in Bailieborough.