Charity Impact Awards 2020 Winners Announced

Posted on 8 Dec 2020 Last updated on 11 Jan 2021
Charity Impact Awards

“Woman who accompanies victims of crime to court named Community Hero 2020”

Two charities tackling the devastating impact of dementia, as well as the Chairman of the Jack and Jill Foundation and a woman who has comforted the victims of crime in court for over 30 years, are among the extraordinary people and organisations honoured this evening at the annual Charity Impact Awards.

Presented by The Wheel, the national association of charities, community and voluntary organisations and social enterprises, the Charity Impact Awards celebrate the positive impact these organisations, and the individuals behind them, make in the lives of millions of people in Ireland and beyond.

Over 150 people and organisations were nominated for the Charity Impact Awards this year, and the entries reflect the huge effort charities made this year to support the people and communities they serve, often under very challenging financial circumstances.

Congratulating the winners, Deirdre Garvey, CEO of The Wheel said, “Over the past year families, neighbours, communities, medical professionals, the HSE and other statutory services, businesses, charities, community and voluntary groups, social enterprises have all come together in solidarity to make sure that no one is left behind. This united national response would not have been possible without the community and voluntary sector. Charities and voluntary groups were active in every community in Ireland before the COVID-19 crisis, and they provided a structure within which people could coordinate their support and identify those most in need of it. From the very start of this crisis, the community and voluntary sector bolstered by an army of volunteers   sprang into action to support the most vulnerable people in our communities, and over the past nine months, they have moved mountains. We need to make sure this precious national asset our charities, community and voluntary groups, and social enterprises are strong enough to help Ireland bounce back.

The Winners

Impact Awards

  • Small Organisations: Blood Bikes East, won the Impact Award for Small Organisations. The organisation was set up to provide emergency medical transport services to our public hospitals and care homes in Dublin.
  • Medium-sized Organisations: The Impact Award for Medium-sized Organisations went to Engaging Dementia, a charity set up by a Speech and Language Therapist to address the isolation of dementia.    
  • Large Organisations: St Joseph’s Shankhill which provides residential care for people with dementia won the Impact Award for Large Organistions. Residents are housed in six small households where people at the same stage of dementia live, eat, socialise, relax and are cared for together from the early stages all the way through to the end of life, palliative stage. During COVID- 19, households have been cocooning together and still feel loved and occupied, even in the absence of family.

Social Enterprise of the Year Award

Meals4Health, a social enterprise which supports older people to live independently at home for as long as possible with home delivered meals which combine great taste with nutritional support won the Social Enterprise of the Year Award.

Trustee of the Year Award

The Charity Trustee of the Year Award went to Donal Kavanagh, the outgoing chairman of Jack and Jill Children's Foundation.

Community Hero Award

The Community Hero Award, a lifetime achievement award honouring a volunteer who has made an extraordinary contribution to their community over the course of their lifetime, was awarded to Noelle Fitzsimons who have spent the past 30 years supporting the victims of crime in court, all in a voluntary capacity.  In 2019 alone, Noelle gave 163 days of her own time to providing much needed support to over 200 victims and victims’ families of such crimes as domestic violence, theft, burglary, murder, sexual abuse, among others. She played a key role in establishing Victim Support at Court V-SAC.

The online event also featured surprise appearances from a host of famous names, including EMMY and BAFTA award-winning actress Sharon Horgan, singer Daniel O’Donnell, former Olympic athlete Sonia O’Sullivan, broadcaster Ray D’Arcy and many others.

For more information on the Charity Impact Awards and the winners visit or see #CharityImpact.