Carrick-on-Suir students honoured by Concern Worldwide after fundraising for world’s poorest people

County Tipperary teenagers inspired participation in a school ambassador programme for Concern’s annual Fast fundraising campaign.

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Two Tipperary teenagers who raised funds to help alleviate world hunger and poverty were recently honoured for their efforts by Concern Worldwide, Ireland’s largest aid agency.

Jaden Wootton (16) and Ellie O’Dwyer (15), who are going into third year at Scoil Mhuire, Carrick-on-Suir, won the Fundraising Newcomer Award at the 2018 Concern Volunteer Awards in Dublin.

The pair were highly praised at the awards by Concern’s chief Executive, Dominic MacSorley, for their “inspiring” participation in a school ambassador programme for Concern’s annual Fast fundraising campaign and for all their hard work to raise funds and awareness.

“They are hard-working, motivating and inspiring students, who took on their role as Fast ambassadors with passion and enthusiasm,” said Mr MacSorley.

“Jaden and Ellie went over and beyond in relation to the amount of fundraising they pushed in their school and local community. They organised a number of fundraising events including bake sales, street collections, bingo nights and much more in their efforts to spread awareness and raise as much money as possible for Concern,” he added.

Jaden and Ellie attended Concern’s Volunteer Awards with Jaden’s mother Winarmi, who said all in their community are “very proud” of what they have achieved. “They wanted to fundraise in their spare time. They would go to businesses to ask them for prizes for raffles and they would sometimes come home with plastic buckets full of coins. We are all very proud of them,” she said.

Jaden said they are both “over the moon” to get the award from Concern, adding that they wanted to “raise funds for such a good cause”.

Over a very short period during Concern’s 2017 Fast campaign, which usually occurs in late November, Jaden and Ellie raised around €1,800.

Concern’s Volunteer Awards was created five years ago to celebrate the vital contribution made by the aid agency’s volunteers in Ireland, which helps fund the organisation’s overseas work that last year alone saw 27 million of the world’s poorest people reached in 27 countries.

Concern was formed by volunteers 50 years ago in 1968 as part of a major humanitarian response to the Biafran famine in Nigeria caused by civil war – a milestone that is being marked this year by the organisation at a number of events around the country.