A CLONAKILTY Leaving Cert student has been honoured with one of the highest honours from the Red Cross.
Emma Cullinane has just been given a Red Cross National Volunteer Award in recognition of her work in the organisation and in particular for her Cork Penny Dinners food collections. The 18-year-old student at Sacred Heart Secondary School has been involved with the Red Cross in Clonakilty for the past five years.
‘I started initially as a way of getting involved in my community – and now it’s a part of my life,’ said Emma.
Unfortunately she couldn’t make the awards ceremony in Croke Park as she was sitting an entrance exam at UCC where she hopes to study music but her mum Danielle proudly accepted the award.
Danielle is originally from Australia and that’s where Emma was born with the family moving to her dad’s home town of Clonakilty when she was a toddler.
‘It was wonderful for Emma to be recognised,’ said her mum also highlighting the support given to her by Padraig O’Reilly who won Volunteer of the Year in 2018.
Youth officer Padraig said it was fantastic to see Emma transitioning through the various stages of the organisation, from youth member to youth leader, and positively influencing younger members along the way.
He said Emma had been a key player in coordinating a four-week long food collection for Penny Dinners, one of Cork’s oldest charities.
Under her leadership, the number of food boxes collected increased dramatically from about eight to over 50.