Local woman Clodagh McClean was named Volunteer of the Year at the Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland annual conference on Saturday – on a weekend which also saw Ardee’s Peter Landy re-elected for a second term as chairman of the national charity.
The association’s annual conference was held at the Sheraton Hotel in Athlone and Clodagh, from Smarmore, walked away with the first ever Volunteer of the Year award for her efforts throughout 2017.
“Clodagh has been volunteering with SBHI for six years now and continues to make herself available for the various projects and respite breaks that SBHI run for our members, ” Landy told ThisIsArdee.ie. “Clodagh is the first recipient of the Volunteer of the Year award after SBHI introduced the award scheme this year in recognition of the truly outstanding work of all of our volunteers countrywide.”
Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland run several respite breaks annually including six weeks of the Shine project in the summer and also several weekend breaks as well as annual sports days, Halloween parties, Christmas parties – and of course the conference weekend.
“Clodagh is a very caring and happy person, always with a huge smile on her face and capable of putting a smile on the faces of anyone she meets,” Landy continued. “Clodagh also encourages her friends and other family members to volunteer also and her brother Damien and sister Eadaoin are also volunteering with SBHI at the moment.
“Congratulations to Clodagh and if anyone out there would like to volunteer for SBHI, you can do so by going to out website http://www.sbhi.ie/volunteer,” Landy concluded.
Landy himself has been re-elected chairman of the Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland board for a second term. He was first elected chair back in October 2015, having served as Vice-Chair for seven years from 2008. Members of SBHI nominate people for the position on an annual basis and if there is more than one nomination, this results in an election. On this occasion, Peter was the only nominee and therefore was elected unopposed.
Peter joined the Louth/Meath branch back in 2002 when his daughter Hannah, who was born with Hydrocephalus, was four-years-old. He is still involved with the local branch today and helps out with fundraising and other activities on their behalf.
Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland is a voluntary organisation, with an elected Board of Directors made up of voluntary members and parents as well as branches in all four provinces which are run by groups of local volunteers. The association has thousands of members nationwide consisting of, those with Spina Bifida and/or Hydrocephalus, their parents, siblings, family, friends and carers.
With the assistance of Government funding and support from the HSE, the association has expanded its services nationally and the National Resource Centre is now a professionally run centre, which employs a CEO, a Family Support Team, a Youth and Respite Team, an Educational Officer, a Fundraising Manager and administration support.
The association continues to evolve and is now an active body where paid and voluntary staff work together to support its members as proactively and effectively as possible.