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Nenagh man wins British volunteer award

Monday, 16th July, 2018 11:46am
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Nenagh man wins British volunteer award

Brian Heffernan receives his award as Best Individual Volunteer from the award sponsor, Conor Foley of Irish International Business Network, with Nominator Guy Bolongaro (left).

Nenagh man wins British volunteer award

Brian Heffernan receives his award as Best Individual Volunteer from the award sponsor, Conor Foley of Irish International Business Network, with Nominator Guy Bolongaro (left).

A Nenagh man who upcycles furniture for Irish people in London was a winner at the first annual Irish in Britain Volunteer Awards.

Brian Heffernan, a son of the late Michael and Kathleen Heffernan, 26 Kenyon Street, Nenagh, won the Outstanding Individual Volunteer award at a recent ceremony. Brian volunteers with TREE, a social enterprise he helped to create with Causeway Irish Housing. He sources raw and recycled materials to upcycle into furniture, which is then donated or sold cheaply within the Irish community.

Brian has led workshops and classes on furniture restoration, and has helped to renovate a disused garage into a creative hub where participants can drop in and work on their furniture.

The awards were presented at the Irish Embassy in London by the Irish Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Adrian O’Neill, and Brian Dalton, the head of Irish in Britain organisation. The new awards recognise “outstanding volunteers in the Irish community in Britain and showcase the phenomenal work that volunteers do in our community,” Mr Dalton said.

According to a feature in the Irish Times recently, he said that Irish in Britain were proud to host the first annual volunteer awards, which “showcased the selfless work of volunteers who support our community.” Irish in Britain was established in 1973 and was intended to create a single national body “to share expertise, to represent, to campaign for and support the growth and well-being” of the Irish in Britain.

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