Flying Nun Sr Patricia Wall
Sr Patricia Wall was named Volunteer of the Year at the Volunteer Ireland Awards which were held in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Sligo last Friday night.
Sr Patricia is known to many as the “Flying Nun” for skydiving aged 75 to raise funds for Aware and resource centres in the Slieveardagh area.
Since her retirement as a school principal more than 20 years ago, she has set up three organisations to support the Slieveardagh community and she is still involved in the day-to-day running of all three. These organisations, The Millennium Family Resource Centre, Ballingarry Community Development (including Brightsparks Childcare) and Slieveardagh Rural Development, came together to nominate Sr Patricia for the impact she has had on the community.
She picked up the Christine Buckley award on Friday night in Sligo which is reserved for one truly exceptional volunteer and is named in memory of the late Christine Buckley, who co-founded the Aislinn Education and Support Centre and campaigned tirelessly on behalf of victims of institutional abuse for more than 25 years.
In her acceptance speech Sr Patricia praised the work of the people in her community saying “I see amazing people doing extraordinary work in the community without any acknowledgement so I want to thank them tonight for all their hard work.”
Michael Kealy, Manager of Ballingarry CITE, who attended the awards ceremony said: "On behalf of all of the staff and Board of Management of Ballingarry Community Development and Brightsparks Childcare Centre, Ballingarry we would like to congratulate Sr Patricia on winning the prestigious 2017 Volunteer of the Year Award".
"Seeing at first hand, the work she puts in and the wealth of knowledge she imparts daily, we know that there can be no more worthy winner. Sr Patricia has never been one to seek plaudits, but often deserves them and it is great to see her been honoured nationally”, Mr. Kealy stated.