Kilkenny man named Charity Hero 2014

11 December 2014 – Jim Kavanagh, a Kilkenny man who has spent the past 20 years helping to alleviate the suffering of children, young adults and the elderly in institutions and mental asylums across Belarus and Western Russia, has been named Ireland's Charity Hero 2014. The national prize honours individuals who have made an extraordinary contribution to good causes over their lifetime.

Jim Kavanagh was one of 10 people from across Ireland nominated for the annual award presented today at Dublin Castle by The Wheel, the national representative body for charities, in association with the Volunteer Ireland Awards. Jim was also named Volunteer of the Year at the Volunteer Ireland Awards last Thursday.

In the early 90s, Jim set up the Volunteer Outreach Group of Adi Roche's Chernobyl Children International (CCI) in Kilkenny. This group alone has brought almost 1,000 children into the county since its inception. Jim, along with his wife and their eight children, work together to promote the work of Chernobyl Children International every day of their lives. Over the years, he has made a huge contribution to change the lives of over 170 children.

The Charity Hero Award is part of Better Together, a nationwide campaign that aims to make Ireland a better place to live by building support for charities, clubs and associations across the country.

Better Together Charity Video Competition

Also announced this evening were the winners of the Better Together Charity Video Competition. Over 100 charities, clubs and associations from across Ireland made short online videos to highlight the impact of their work. 170,000 voted for their favourite videos between September and December, and 51 videos were subsequently shortlisted.
The winners are: 
Commenting on the Awards, Deirdre Garvey, Chief Executive of The Wheel said: β€œThe Better Together Campaign demonstrates the great value of people working together for the common good. Community and voluntary groups are facing their toughest challenge yet: not only is the demand for their services increasing, but their income levels are dropping. The campaign aims to turn the tide on this and strengthen local groups by showing the public the extraordinary work happening in their communities and how they can get involved.”
For more information on the Better Together Campaign visit
For further information contact: Gert Ackermann on M: 086 176 9287 or T: (01) 454 8727.
About The Wheel
The Wheel is a national organisation that represents and supports community, voluntary and charitable organisations in Ireland. Founded in 1999, we currently have over 1,000 members across Ireland, reflecting the enormous scope and scale of this vibrant and diverse sector. See