Awards finalist Daniel shows he has Pramerica Community spirit

Carrick student Daniel Ritchie.
Carrick student Daniel Ritchie.

An East Antrim student is one of just six Northern Ireland finalists for this year’s prestigious Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards.

Daniel Ritchie from Carrickfergus is among six provincial youth volunteers who are amongst the 20 finalists who have been announced as part of the 2017 Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards.

The only all-Ireland youth initiative of its kind, the program rewards post-primary students for outstanding acts of volunteerism and the positive contribution they make in their local communities and further afield.

Daniel, a sixth year student in Carrickfergus Grammar School, was motivated to do more for his community through the YMCA. He knew from his personal experience with having a parent with a disability that there was a real need for help in this area.

He dedicated his time to the YMCA youth club and to the Get Set for Community Action programme which was supported by the British Olympic Committee. The Get Set programme involved the roll out of two Olympic-themed events for two vastly different groups; 100 adults with severe mental and physical disabilities known as Carrickfergus Senior Gateway, and the 30 elderly residents of One Irish Gate in Carrickfergus.

School Principal Kieran Mulvenna said: “Daniel is a gem. He is a quiet, self-effacing and earnest young man, who unlike many others, turned the suffering of a long-term debilitating illness by his father into a life-affirming positive. I know that he will continue to give his best, quietly and caringly.”

The finalists will be presented with €500 and an engraved silver medallion at the gala awards ceremony on March 23 in Dublin where two of the 20 students will be named All-Ireland Youth Volunteers of the Year.