FOR her exceptional charity work and the amazing care she gives to her mother who is blind and has diabetes, an Omagh student has been shortlisted for a very special award.
Kind-hearted Caoimhe Bennett, a sixth year student at Loreto Grammar, was nominated as one of just 20 finalists in the ‘2018 Pramerican Spirit of Community Awards’ – the only all-Ireland youth initiative of its kind.
Next month, she will travel to Dublin’ Aviva Stadium to receive the award for her magnificent work, and there she will also be in the running to win the highly-prestigious ‘All-Ireland Youth Volunteers of the Year’ accolade.
Every day, Caoimhe tests her mother’s blood sugars, administers medication and organises her daily needs.
She also prepares nutritious meals for her family, tends to correspondence, completes housework and other tasks such as banking and paying bills to help her beloved mum – all while studying for her all-important A-Levels.
To make a further difference outside the home, Caoimhe is involved with Barnardo’s young carers council and has produced a short film and booklet highlighting who young carers are and what schools can do to assist them.
Additionally, Caoimhe assists her mother in her role as secretary for a local charity, EYEspeak.
Describing Caoimhe as “awe-inspiring”, principal of Loreto Grammar School, Grainne O’Hanlon was full of praise for the caring student.
“Caoimhe is a remarkable young lady who is constantly striving to help others,” Grainne said.
“Her commitment to her academia, her family and her local community is awe-inspiring.
“She is a charismatic and compelling orator.
“Caoimhe is the personification of perseverance, triumphing daily over her own personal challenges. She has never sought recognition and in her unassuming and gentle manner, we would never guess the responsibilities that she undertakes.”
The ‘2018 Pramerican Spirit of Community Awards’ rewards post-primary students for outstanding acts of volunteerism, and the positive contribution they make in their local communities and further afield.
The 20 post-primary students nominated will be presented with €500 and an engraved silver medallion at the awards ceremony on March 22 at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
During the event, two of the 20 students will be named ‘All-Ireland Youth Volunteers of the Year’, receiving €1,000, a gold medallion, a crystal trophy for their school and an all-expense paid trip to the United States in May to participate in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards ceremony.
Good luck Caoimhe!