NUI Galway ALIVE Certificates Celebrate Students' Commitment to Community

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

A special Certificate Awards Ceremony will mark the achievements of 500 volunteer students at NUI Galway on Monday 26th March, 2006. NUI Galway Dean of Arts, Professor Kevin Barry will present the students with certificates congratulating each of them for their time spent volunteering within NUI Galway, the Galway community, and with national and international non-governmental organisations through the ALIVE programme at the University.

ALIVE - A Learning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience – was established by the Community Knowledge Initiative at NUI Galway to harness, acknowledge and support the contribution that NUI Galway students make to Galway by volunteering. To date over 1000 students have been recognised for their volunteering commitment within a variety of pathways, enabling NUI Galway to become a role model in promoting skills related to democratic participation and civic engagement amongst the student body.

The ALIVE programme has facilitated students who have volunteered on campus within societies, clubs and student mentoring, and off campus with the Gaf Youth Café, the Galway Rape Crisis Centre, and the Alzheimer Society of Ireland to name a few.

Des Mulligan of the Alzheimer Society of Ireland paid tribute to those students who had volunteered their time and energy to the benefit of the charity. "Our participation in the ALIVE Programme has been inspirational for us as an organisation because of the innovative and creative way in which students approached the whole concept of volunteering. It has been a real learning experience for us and also encouraging seeing the genuine enthusiasm and community spirit alive in young people," he said.

Katie Stack, ALIVE Student Volunteer with the Galway Association, "Volunteering puts all the college work in perspective, it is important to know there is more to life. I hope to continue volunteering next year as we are building friendships, not just 'a volunteer and service user' relationship. There is an impact for the service user but also for the volunteers, we love it."

Students have volunteered in a variety of organisations and organised events throughout the year. Last month students pushed a bed from Ennis to Galway to raise funds and awareness for the Alzheimer Society of Ireland. Previously students organised a 'teddy bear hospital' which brought in over 360 primary school children with their teddies in an effort to reduce children's anxieties about going to the doctor.

"The ALIVE Certificate Awards Ceremony is an important opportunity to recognise students for their volunteering, instilling in them a sense civic responsibility," said Lorraine Tansey, Student Volunteer Coordinator for the ALIVE programme at NUI Galway.

ENDS

For further information please contact Lorraine Tansey, 091 495346, or email lorraine.tansey@nuigalway.ie

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