Shaun Henson from Moate, Co. Westmeath received an ALIVE certificate for volunteering from NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne.
Apr 13 2016 Posted: 11:50 IST

Volunteering For Social Change Focus of NUI Galway Presidential Award Ceremony 

Over 1,000 NUI Galway students were presented with volunteering awards at a special ceremony on campus this week. The ALIVE certificate acknowledges volunteering efforts by NUI Galway students both on and off campus in a range of clubs, societies and community-based organisations.

The ALIVE (A Learning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience) programme was established by NUI Galway’s Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) in 2003 to harness, acknowledge and support student volunteering.

The goal of NUI Galway’s internationally acclaimed student volunteering programme, ALIVE, is not only to connect students with volunteer vacancies in Galway but also mould and design graduates who make meaningful contributions to society as future volunteers and community actors. 

Lorraine Tansey, Student Volunteer Programme, ALIVE coordinator, said: “Volunteering makes a difference.  Students at NUI Galway are encouraged to volunteer to learn valuable civic skills that will enhance all our communities into the future.  Each student reflects on how their volunteering makes a difference.”

This year, students have volunteered with Bohermore Youth Development Project, Galway Autism Partnership, Galway Traveller Movement, Presentation Primary School Homework Club and St. Francis Day Centre.

Student volunteer Amy Mannin volunteered with Ability West’s best Buddie programme: “I have so many positive experiences as part of being a volunteer with Best Buddies. I have gained a forever friend through meeting my buddy Jenny. I have learned to listen more and try to be as supportive as I can to someone else. It has enlightened my perspective towards individuals with intellectual disabilities in a very positive way. I have gotten to meet so many individuals with such positive outlooks on life.”

This year’s ceremony featured two special guests, NUI Galway graduate and activist for LGBTQ rights, Ivan Fahy and NUI Galway PhD candidate, Chris Noone. Ivan spoke about the the importance of being different and unique, and Chris focused on his work with creating a social enterprise, Key Ideas and Decisions, a new civic engagement platform by young people for young people. 

Lorraine added: “Both Ivan and Chris epitomise passion for activism in Irish society and will inspire attendees to continue to volunteer for change and greater social justice in Ireland.”

To find out more about NUI Galway’s ALIVE programme visit www.nuigalway.ie/alive.

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