Emily is volunteer of the year!

Emily Duffy from Newcastle West has been named one of only two youth volunteers in Ireland to win the 2017 Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards. Emily, along with Lucia Quinney Mee, from Ballycastle, Co Antrim, were selected from hundreds of youth volunteers from across the island of Ireland at a gala awards ceremony in the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dublin. Emily and Lucia each received €1,000 for a charity of their choice and a gold medallion and a crystal trophy for their school, presented by international rugby player Jordi Murphy.  In May, they will both travel on an all-expenses paid trip to Washington D.C. to meet up with youth volunteers from across America and participate in the Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards ceremony.
Emily, a sixth year student at Desmond College, volunteers with the Mendicity charity and developed the Duffily bag, designed to protect homeless people, which is now manufactured by service users of the charity. Emily was initially moved by the high levels of homelessness in her community and began volunteering with Mendicity, a charity that employs homeless men and helps enable them to start a new life. Working closely with the service users, Emily ensured that her invention met their needs and requirements, and also developed a production process with them to ensure efficient production. Emily spent countless hours on the final design and production of the Duffily Bag which now protects homeless people from the harsh conditions they experience living on the streets.