Offaly students from Gallen Community School and Colaiste Naomh Cormac have been recognised with awards after their contributions to a volunteering initiative run by The Society of St Vincent de Paul.
The school received their awards at an event attended by schools from the Mid-West, including Limerick, Offaly, Clare and Tipperary at Thomond Park this week.
Young SVP is a youth development programme which aims to provide opportunities for young people to engage in social action in their own communities, encouraging personal and social development.
It allows students to learn new skills, develop their understanding of social justice, give back to their community and gain experience of youth led social action.
The programmed was first introduced in the region last school year, and it has already doubled in size with more than 800 students taking part, including those from Offaly.
The event was an opportunity to acknowledge all the young people in these communities who selflessly give of their time and talents to help others through the Young SVP programme.
During the day, the young volunteers not only inspired each other, but also learned and shared advice on how to plan their activities and ensure they have impact. Each group had a stand where they interacted with others, and some groups were also asked to present one of their projects on stage, to share tips and tricks with others who might never have done such a
Students from Colaiste Naomh Cormac started their school conference this year and went straight into organising a table quiz at Christmas in aid of their local SVP. They then organised a “Blue Day” in school to raise awareness of the fact that we all might struggle in life and that SVP is there to support people through tough times.
Finally, they designed a workshop for Junior Cycle students and went to teach them about volunteering and helping others through the story of the Good Samaritan. For the Young SVP day, they designed a secret code that others needed to crack to get a prize.
Transition Year students from Gallen Community School Ferbane started their school conference this year as well. When planning their activities, they were looking for an idea that would raise school spirits and at the same time benefit the wider community.
They decided to sell candy canes with personalised messages at Christmas, and donated the proceeds of this event to their local SVP. Now they are planning to reach out into the community and engage with other groups to see who could benefit from the time and talents they have.
For more information on the Young SVP Programme, please contact our Youth Development Officer – Ivana Kolic on 085 253 9696 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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