Hannah Lyons, from Eglinton has shown dedication in service to her community and because of that she has been recognised as one of 20 finalists in the 2017 Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards, the only all-Ireland youth initiative of its kind which rewards post-primary students for outstanding acts of volunteerism and the positive contribution they make in their local communities and further afield.
Hannah, a sixth year student at Thornhill College, Derry, volunteers with ChildLine and Foyle Down Syndrome Trust. Inspired by her parents, who made huge sacrifices and fostered children when she was growing up, Hannah realised how privileged she was and wanted to become a more active member of the community.
At the Foyle Down Syndrome Trust, Hannah supports young people with Down syndrome to reach their personal goals, encourage participation and ensure everyone has fun while also helping them make greater strides towards independence.
Volunteering with ChildLine once a week, Hannah operates the switchboard and is the first point of contact for children in need. She wants to be able to counsel for ChildLine in the future as she believes it is such a necessary and important service.
“As head of sixth form, Hannah has made a very positive contribution not only in school but to her local community through the wide range of voluntary work that she has been involved in,” said Sixth Form Head Declan McCay.
“Her inspiration comes from home, her parents have looked after young people in very difficult situations and Hannah simply wants to do the same.”
The post-primary students, who hail from all corners of Ireland, will be presented with €500 and an engraved silver medallion at the gala awards ceremony on March 23 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dublin.