November 20, 2018
Charity / Organisation associated with Hero
Carrigaline Family Support Centre
Period Hero has been volunteering for
9 years of volunteering
Dedication of Volunteer
Willie is one of the most wonderful giving people I have been honoured to work with. From once Willie gets up in the morning until he goes to bed at night Willie is volunteering his time to make life better for anyone who encounters him in the Village of Carrigaline. His life's motto is Love. He gets up every day and says yes! Yes to helping anyone who needs it. He is in his late 60's but has the energy of someone in their early 20's. I recently heard a lady describe him as an angel as he is everywhere? His kindness and giving know no bounds. Willie sits as a director on my board of directors but gives so much time besides this huge commitment to us and other organisations in the Village. It is extraordinary. Any time we need assistance he arrives to help. If we have an individual that needs to be helped on our bus or simply needs the assistance to attend medical appointments at the hospital he will make himself available. If there is a problem with our community bus he sorts it. If there is an event that needs to be manned, he makes himself available. If I need to talk something through. He is always there. We are not the only group Willie works with. He helps out at the church and is famous throughout the village for his work with young people in the local soccer club. the club had over 1500 young people and 250 coaches and Willie makes all this happen.He touches the lives of all the young people in the club.He radiates goodness and giving and wants nothing back. He is currently after embarking on a 3 year study programme. He attends all our training programmes such as wheel chair training for our disabled bus users and defibrillator certification training. What the world needs are Millions of Willie Walsh's. I could write pages and pages on all that he does but most of all he represents the best of what it is to volunteer in this country. He is a true celebration of life and giving and nobody deserves to be recognised more than Willie.
Impact made by volunteer
His positivity is infectious, if you are having a bad day, week or month meeting Willie will cheer you up. If you do not have any family or anyone to help you to get to medical appointments in the hospitals Willie will always say yes to make your journey more bearable and to assist our volunteer drivers. Every where he volunteers everyone is in awe of him and the wonderful thing is he has no clue how amazing he is. When I heard him being described as an angel he seemed so taken aback and humbled. It's like he has no idea of the difference he makes to the community. As a director he is responsible and knows his responsibilities and is so incredibly supportive. His insights and compassion for people in trouble or in crisis is extraordinary and if ever you were in trouble he is the one man you know you could turn to without fear of being judged he would give you all the support and contacts you would need. He wouldn't let you down. He represents the extraordinary commitment of volunteers in Carrigaline. He most definitely leads by example. I know I do not know even half of what he does to make life great for the people of Carrigaline. He will never be the person to say look at me look how great I am and it is in his quite unassuming way he makes all the difference. Carrigaline is very lucky to have him.
Creativity / Initiative / Passion showed by volunteer
If there is a way to make things happen Willie will find it. Because of his involvement with so many organisations he always comes up with a solution or a number for a person that will help you. Willie does all his business locally so the good will of the people is shared with you if Willie asks for it. For example I was desperate to find a room to run a women's group in and was finding it hard to find a venue. One phone call to Willie, a building with a contact number is produced almost instantly.
This year there was a huge fundraiser in the village for some local charities. It was a strictly come dancing event. When Willie was asked to participate he said yes. Even though dancing may not be his big talent in life he gave up hours and months out of his busy life to practice and did a wonderful job helping to raise over â‚¬50,000.
If I come up with a new initiative for our family Support centre he will get what I am trying to do immediately and find ways to help me achieve what I am looking to do.
Willie is Passionate about everything he does, he gives 200% . If Willie is involved you know it will be great. His enthusiasm is infectious you just want to go along and help him.
To run a soccer club at the level he does and to keep such huge numbers involved takes an extraordinary level of commitment. He opens it first thing in the morning and often really late at night when we are finished meetings he heads over to the club to turn off all the lights and close it all up. Does anyone ever notice?
He was instrumental in helping set up our travel assist programme. This helps mainly wheelchair users but not exclusively patients attend hospital appointments. It is also for individuals who need support to get to specialised treatments and who do not have family members to take them or don't have wheel chair accessible vehicles. Willie travels on the bus when needed to help with getting the wheelchair on and secure but also to keep the person company. We are quite a distance from the city hospitals and Wheelchair accessible taxi's are rare and expensive.
Today We had a driver on a bus who was not used to the mechanics of the wheelchair ramp. She was picking up our elderly group to bring them to our centre for their positive aging week activity.I was rung to say they couldn't get the ramp to work. I straight away think Willie will know what to do. He says yes to helping and rings the driver and talks her through what to do. The day was saved and all our elderly people got to come to the centre.
For the Family Support Centre it is his unwavering support and belief that we make a difference to people's lives. His understanding of how a human being can be broken but given love, empathy and kindness can give even the most hopeless individuals a chance to improve their lives.He believes love can truly conquer all. That being kind to one another can make all the difference. If there were more hours in the day Willie would find more people to help. What I find extraordinary is people forget to say thank you. Our help can sometimes go unseen. People like Willie give up exceptional amount of hours out of their day to make other people's lives better. Sometimes they are in bad place and don't see the gift of his time that he is so generous with. I just want people to remember this wonderful human being and say thank you from all of us.