|The award was adjudicated by Elaine Bradley CEO of Volunteering Ireland. Here is a profile of Pauline that was submitted by Deirdre O'Brien-Ray, Shop Manager.|
|Pauline Smyth is 83 and half years old (the half is very important to her) and a volunteer in the Ms Charity Shop in Bray. Having offered her services for free for the past 17 years, Pauline has become a leading light in the shop and an integral part of its everyday running.
Originally involved in setting up the shop, Pauline became the first shop volunteer working two afternoons a week for eight years. In the past nine years Pauline has worked every Saturday morning. The only time she takes a break is for the month of November when she travels on her own to visit her sons in Boston and returns with presents for all her friends in the shop.
Pauline's extensive family are fully aware of her devotion to MS Ireland. Not only do they regularly make donations but they also ensure she gets to the shop by organising to taxi for her when weather conditions are bad.
Pauline's long-lasting contribution to MS Ireland is all the more impressive when you hear her personal story. In 1970 while pregnant with her tenth child, her husband and daughter were killed in a road traffic accident. She says her positive attitude, sense of humour and her "fags" and coffee have kept her going. Pauline is a very strong and courageous woman with a wonderful sense of humour she can turn any dull atmosphere into a cheerful situation with her dry wit and unique one liners.
She is a great role model and regularly bestows her wisdom on others in the form of solid advice and guidance. When she is finished her shift in the shop, she can be found outside the local coffee shop, having her coffee and fag and entertaining the regulars with her amusing and witty remarks. Pauline touches so many people lives, she is the face of the MS Charity shop in Bray and we are very lucky to have her.