Emily Duffy, Knockaderry, left with Michael Phelps and Lucia Quinney Mee, Co Antrim
ALL-IRELAND Youth Volunteer of the Year, Emily Duffy, met with Olympic gold medalist swimmer Michael Phelps as part of her winning trip to Washington DC for the US Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.
Emily, from Knockaderry and a pupil at Desmond College, Newcastle West won the honour arising from her work for the homeless in developing the Duffily bag, a fire-proof and water-proof sleeping bag specially designed for those sleeping rough.
Part of her prize was an all-expenses trip to Washington for a gala awards ceremony at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.
There, Emily was presented with a special commemorative trophy by Prudential Financial CEO John Strangfeld alongside her co-winner Lucia Quinney Mee from Ballycastle, Co Antrim and the top top youth volunteers from each US state.
She was also personally congratulated for her outstanding volunteer service by Michael Phelps.
Since Emily’s original bag was first entered for the BT Young Scientist and Technoloy Exhibition in 2015, she has developed it further with the homeless charity Mendicity and it has been used in refugee camps in France.