Waterford PPN Community & Voluntary Awards, now in their 16th year, were set up to recognise and celebrate the community organisations and volunteers that work tirelessly in our communities; for their outstanding contributions making their communities a great place to live, work, play and visit.

The annual awards are usually celebrated at a gala ceremony where over 200 people would attend including representatives from all nominated groups/volunteers, sponsors and elected representatives but unfortunately because of Covid-19 this wasn’t possible but hopefully we will be back in full swing in 2022 and get everyone together to celebrate in person, even that would be a celebration in itself.

Waterford PPN would like to thank all of the groups and individuals that were nominated for this year’s PPN awards. We know that the last 18 months have been very strange and extremely challenging times and the need for services escalated and the voluntary sector in Waterford stood up to the challenge as they always do in times of crisis. They have gone well above and beyond their usual roles as volunteers, the heroes in your communities.

This year we were delighted to collaborate for the first time with Waterford Volunteer Centre and introduced two new awards to recognise the efforts of individuals in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.  The pandemic highlighted the vast resource that volunteers bring to their communities like providing supports to the elderly and vulnerable by bringing groceries, collecting prescriptions, walking dogs, or simply by calling and checking in.  Others responded to the growing isolation that was being felt by setting up virtual chat groups or local walking groups when restrictions permitted.

Presenting Billy Gallagher with his cert and crystal is Sharon Higgins, Manager, Waterford Volunteer Centre

Thanks to our collaborators and sponsors, Waterford City & County Council and Waterford Volunteer Centre and a huge shout out to all the adjudicators Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown PPN, Kerry PPN, Kilkenny PPN, Laois PPN, Offaly PPN, Tipperary PPN, Cork Volunteer Centre, Offaly Volunteer Centre and Roscommon Volunteer Centre for the unenviable task they had in adjudicating. The adjudicators were extremely impressed with the commitment and selfless dedication and remarked on how evident it is that the volunteers in Waterford are making a huge difference to the quality of lives in their local and wider communities particularly in these testing times.

Sharon Higgins, Manager, Waterford Volunteer Centre presenting John Mansfield with his cert and crystal.

Covid-19 Community Champion

Winner – Billy Gallagher, Waterford City River Rescue.

Billy has been volunteering for 12 years with Waterford City River Rescue. Over this time, he has helped save countless lives. He is also the Training Officer and so trains other crew members to enable them to save lives. He is renowned for passing down knowledge and instilling a sense of dedication in other crew members. He is held in high esteem by his crew members who say that “through searches, rescues and life, Billy is there through thick and thin”.

Covid-19 Special Project Award

Winner -John Mansfield, St Anne’s Court Residents Association, Lemybrien.

John has been volunteering for many, many years with St Anne’s. There is no job too big or too small and despite being referred to as one of the older residents on the estate, he certainly takes on the lion’s share of the work. From cutting grass, growing sunflowers and pumpkins, and engaging younger generations in keeping the place litter free, John creates a wonderful atmosphere in the community. He always has a smile and chat for everyone, and the residents feel they are privileged to have him.

Category Winners & Runners Up

(Category winners receive €600 & all runners up receive €300)


Age Friendly – WINNER: Waterford Older Peoples Council (OPC)

Runners up:

  • Dr. Martin Day Centre for the Elderly
  • Francis Court Age Action Group
  • Tay & Mahon Valley ARA


Arts, Culture & Heritage – WINNER: The Walls Project


Children & Youth – WINNER: St. Pauls Boxing Club

Runners up:

  • Pauls Scout Group
  • Woodlands Brownies Villierstown
  • XLC Project WSTCS


Environment – WINNER: “Top of the City” Community Garden

Runners up:

  • Dungarvan Tidy Towns
  • Irish Bee Conservation
  • Tallow Tidy Towns

Healthy & Active Community – WINNER:  St. Declan’s Way Management Committee

Runners up:

  • Ballinameela Community Centre
  • Comeragh Community Development Committee
  • Mental Health & Suicide Awareness

Residents Groups/Associations – WINNER – Tournore Court Residents Association

Runners up:

  • Belvedere Manor Residents Association
  • Larchville Lisduggan Residents Association
  • Ná Fearnoga Residents Association
  • Templars Hall Residents Association


Social Enterprise – WINNER: Carbally Community Development Project

Runners up:

  • Trash to Treasure
  • Waterford City & River Rescue

Social Inclusion – WINNER: Surprise Surprise Dungarvan & West Waterford

Runners up:

  • Sacred Heart FRC – Waterford Social Prescribing Service
  • Waterford Disability Network

Surprise Surprise Dungarvan & West Waterford were named Social Inclusion winners and will represent Waterford in the 2022 IPB Pride of Place awards.

An all-island competition that acknowledges the work that communities are doing all over the island of Ireland, the Pride of Place Awards is recognised as one of the most prestigious community awards in Ireland.

The competition is based on communities demonstrating directly to the judges their pride in their place by oral presentations where they highlight community activities, culture and many other aspects. It is also important that the community demonstrates a real partnership with their local authority and shows that all sectors of the community are included.

Surprise Surprise Dungarvan & West Waterford have been chosen by Waterford City & County Council to represent Waterford in the 2022 IPB Pride of Place awards (this is a non-monetary award). More info on the IPB Awards can be found at www.prideofplace.ie