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Malone girl is top volunteer

By Paul Ainsworth

A SOUTH Belfast schoolgirl has been named Irish Youth Volunteer of the Year for her amazing charity work.

Molly Gilmartin, of Victoria College was named joint winner from 20 finalists at a prestigious award ceremony in Derry last week.

The Pramerica Spirit of the Community Awards, hailed Malone girl Molly for her work in setting up the Sound of Action concert in St Anne’s cathedral, which is now an annual event raising funds for Action Cancer. A volunteer for that charity for over six years, Molly has also spent a week in India working with schoolchildren in a rural village and in recent months has become a volunteer at the Belfast City Hospital Cancer Centre.

The Oxford University-bound 17-year-old was given a €1000 grant to distribute to charities of her choice which she will split between Action Cancer and Victoria College’s India Society charity programme.

She was presented with her award by former SDLP Leader and Nobel Prize winner John Hume.

“As a volunteer you don’t look for credit, but it’s still fantastic to be recognised in this way, as it helps highlight the work of the organisations like Action Cancer and my school,” she said.

Victoria College principal Patricia Slevin added: “In the college we encourage all pupils to recognise the importance of volunteering and helping others and Molly has been an excellent role model in this respect, showing enthusiasm, energy and commitment.

“The whole school community is delighted that she has won.”

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