Port parent shortlisted for Community Person of the Year

Edel Shaw from Shandra Portarlington has been shortlisted in the Calor Community Person of the Year 2012 for Laois for the voluntary work she does for the Laois/Offaly autism support group Laois Offaly Families for Autism (LOFFA).

Edel Shaw from Shandra Portarlington has been shortlisted in the Calor Community Person of the Year 2012 for Laois for the voluntary work she does for the Laois/Offaly autism support group Laois Offaly Families for Autism (LOFFA).

Edel is the Secretary of LOFFA, a support group run by parents for parents and families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who provide, support, encouragement and information for those whose lives are affected by ASD.

She has worked tirelessly helping other parents come to terms with a new diagnosis of autism in the family and giving guidance and support to many other families, all in a voluntary capacity while working fulltime and raising a family of her family.Edel has lived in Portarlington for the past 8 years with her husband Dermot and their two boys Jack (aged 9) and Oisín (aged 6). Jack was diagnosed with autism 5 years ago and it was at this time Edel and Dermot discovered LOFFA.

Loffa is a support group for families in the counties who have children with Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome. Edel holds down a full-time job while organising support for parents, taking calls, holding meetings, and dealing with funding and liaising with the HSE.

Calor Community Person of the Year is open to the public vote via Calor Ireland facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/#!/calorireland

The 4 most popular and 2 wildcards will be selected to go forward to the final. The wining prize includes €7500 for a charity of the persons choice, and would be a massive boost for the midlands support group.

It is time to support your county woman and show the true community spirit of Laois, so support Edel to help her be in with a chance to be crowned Community Champion 2012 and make Laois the home of this year’s inaugural winner of the competition.

Voting is now open to each and every member of the public through the Calor Facebook page. To support your local hero, Edel Shaw and play your part in helping her to be recognised as the first Calor Community Champion could not be easier.

Hector Ó hEochagáin, TV personality is head of the Judging Panel.

“We asked for nominations from every corner and boreen on the island and you have not disappointed! All of us on the judging panel have been heartened by the stories of unseen work going on across our local communities.

“This initiative has been a platform to shed light on these truly deserving people, like Edel Shaw here in Laois. We now have a gallery of what can only be described as real life community heroes. Now it is time to see what each county is truly made of and who the best supporters are, so visit the Gallery of Nominees and get voting today!”

The judging panel icludes Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh and Jennifer Fagan from Calor. The Calor Community Champion 2012 will be announced on September 4th. You can vote daily up until August 17.