Shane Walsh (17 ), a fifth year student at Davitt College, Castlebar, was named All-Ireland Youth Volunteer of the Year during the fourth annual Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards.
Shane was selected for the honour because of his commitment and dedication to his friend Cian who has special needs. Shane has become Cian’s constant caregiver and has ensured that his school experience resembles, as much as possible, every other student’s in the school. Cian must be transferred from a manual wheelchair to a powered wheelchair each morning and evening.
Cian’s family are delighted with how well Cian has fitted into school and greatly appreciates Shane’s help. While Cian clearly relies on Shane, it is evident that Shane also values the friendship. He said: “Cian and I have very interesting conversations. He is a really nice lad. Cian has made me realise and appreciate how lucky my friends and I are.”