Better Together Awards 2012: The Heroes and Winners

A full-time taxi driver and suicide awareness campaigner from Dublin has been named the winner of Ireland’s Charity Hero Award 2012.

The award was one of seven awards presented at an award ceremony held to conclude the Better Together campaign which is run by The Wheel and supported by EBS.

John Quinn was one of 56 people from across Ireland nominated for the annual Award. John, who lost his son Sean to suicide, has campaigned tirelessly to promote Pieta House, Ireland’s first community based centre for the prevention of suicide and self-harm.In September 2011 he appeared on the television programme, Secret Millionaire where he introduced businessman John Colcannon to Pieta House. As a result Mr Colcannon generously donated €25,000. The money will help Pieta House to establish a new centre in Tuam, County Galway.

Ireland’s Charity Hero Award is part of Better Together, a nationwide campaign launched by President Michael D. Higgins in September. The aim of the campaign is to make Ireland a better place to live by building support for charities, clubs and associations across the country.

Better Together Video Competition

Also announced were the winners of the Better Together Charity Video Competition. A hundred and nineteen charities, clubs and associations from across Ireland made short online videos to highlight their work, and the public voted for their favourite clips. Over 260,000 votes were cast on the website between September and November, and 10 videos were subsequently shortlisted.

The following three winners each received a cash prize of €3,000:

(If you can't see the videos below, hit F5 on your keyboard to refresh the page and display videos)

Large Organisations: Ability West


Medium Organisations: Progressio Ireland


Volunteer Only Organisations: Clonakilty Macra

Commenting on the Awards, Deirdre Garvey, Chief Executive of The Wheel said: “The Better Together campaign demonstrates the great value of people working together for the common good. Charities, 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 what they can do to help.”

Emma Hunt-Duffy, CSR and Marketing Manager, EBS said: “This is the second time that EBS has partnered with The Wheel to deliver the Better Together campaign. We were overwhelmed by the response and reaction to this initiative. Looking at the video entries and the testimonials from the participating groups is humbling. When you see what both the staff and the volunteers are doing for so many worthy causes day in and day out in this country it truly is remarkable. I’d like to congratulate everyone who made the shortlist of this year’s awards and especially those who won their respective categories.”