Loreto success in Pramerica Awards

Mary Kate McCloskey
Mary Kate McCloskey

The launch of the Pramerica Spirit of Community awards, has once again, highlighted the excellent endeavours of Loreto College students.

Four worthy candidates from Loreto College applied this year for the Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards. Mary Kate McCloskey, a Year 10 student of the College, takes part every year in the HOPE summer camp based in the Limavady parish. This is a week of activities based around faith, fun and friendship. She also helps her sister by teaching children aged 3 – 14 years to dance, boosting their confidence and self-esteem.

Sean Faulkner, also in Year 10, is a St. John Ambulance cadet; as a volunteer, he has taught others the life-saving skill of CPR. He is also a committed gaelic football and hurling player in his local club of Ballerin. Neeve Campbell, a Year 12 student, was nominated for this award for her voluntary work at the Riding School for the Disabled in Coleraine.

She dedicates a lot of time to teaching others the skills she had taught herself, and is a valued member of the RDA. Loreto College’s fourth applicant, Keira Culleton, is another Year 10 student.

Keira volunteers with cross community programme SPARK and is a key member of this initiative, which is focused

on celebrating people’s similarities rather than the differences between various groups in the community. Keira takes part in activities each week which can include litter picking, visiting residents in local care homes, interacting with local businesses and cleaning neglected graves. Diagnosed with Scoliosis in 2018, Keira wears a back brace, but she does not let this stop her doing the things she loves. Keira has presented to her class and Camogie team to help her friends and teammates understand about what Scoliosis is and why she needs to wear the brace.

Keen to show her positive side and inspire others, Keira attends the Michaela Foundation Camps each year which

promotes and encourages positive values to live life to the full and embrace opportunities to succeed in all that we do. Keira also visits a local Care Home for the elderly and is heavily involved with her local church by helping her dad, who is the sacristan.

A school spokesperson said: “We are proud to announce that Keira has been selected as one of Pramerica’s top twenty finalists of exceptional young people from across Ireland; chosen as one of the country’s most outstanding youth volunteers, working to make a positive impact on her local community.”

The top 20 local students were revealed as Pramerica announced its top 20 finalists for the 2020 Spirit of Community Awards, the only all-Ireland youth initiative of its kind that rewards post-primary students for their exemplary acts of volunteerism.

Mrs Siobhan McCarry, who worked with the applicants and nominated Keira going forward, commented on how

proud the school is of all the pupils who applied for this prestigious award, all of whom will be presented a

certificate of merit from Pramerica, at a special assembly, for the wonderful contributions they have made in their voluntary work for their parish communities.

She gave special congratulations to Keira, for all the endeavours she has made, and on behalf of the College wishes her well for the Awards ceremony in the Titanic Belfast on the March 31. At this event, two finalists from the final 20 will be selected as a Volunteer of the Year by Pramerica.