Waterford’s ‘Sound Town’: How volunteers delivered Kilmac-promise during crisis
It’s official: Kilmacthomas is one of Ireland’s ‘soundest towns’.
The thriving county Waterford town has been announced as the third Cadbury and Today FM’s ‘Sound Town’ winner of 2020. And Kilmac is now in with a chance of winning a €10,000 cash prize for community projects.
The accolade was bestowed on Kilmacthomas following the incredible work carried out by the town’s Covid-19 Volunteer Network community to affect positive change in their town.
‘Sound Town’ is a Today FM’s Weekend Breakfast and Cadbury Ireland initiative, which aims to shine a light on what makes Irish communities so unique by awarding a ‘Sound Town’ status to communities that embody generosity, kindness and general soundness.
Throughout the year, monthly winning towns are selected by Today FM’s Weekend Breakfast and presented with an official ‘Sound Town’ plaque. Each monthly winning town will be shortlisted for a chance to win €10,000 when the overall 2020 Sound Town winner is announced at the end of the year.
Kilmacthomas has been selected due to its phenomenal community response to the current public health emergency. When the pandemic hit Paddy Mulhearn, a nurse in Waterford Regional Hospital, knew many vulnerable people in his town would need help. He decided to make the most of Kilmacthomas’ famous community spirit.
Paddy formed a volunteer network that brings shopping to people who were cocooning – and pops in for a chat whenever they’re in need of some company. The group now has 35 members, with someone available 24 hours a day to those in need.
Helen Power nominated Kilmacthomas after seeing first-hand the positive impact of all the voluntary work going on in the town these past few months. “It’s really been a lifeline for some people, they really appreciate people dropping in, it’s lovely just to know that there’s someone there,” she said.
Today FM’s Weekend Breakfast presenter Alison Curtis said: “Seeing a community like Kilmacthomas coming together to help their most vulnerable residents in their hour of need is nothing short of inspirational. Having someone to speak with – whether it’s through counselling or even just stopping by for a chat – can really make all the difference when times are tough.
“The people of Kilmacthomas are credit to themselves and represent all that is wonderful about living in an Irish town. We are delighted to present them with the third Sound Town award of the year.”