At the ceremony, up to 500 students will receive the ALIVE Certificate for Volunteering, recognising their time spent volunteering this academic year. Through NUI Galway's ALIVE programme, students have volunteered with organisations including Ability West, the Gaf Youth Café, Amnesty International, Childline, Galway Simon Community, Enable Ireland and Down Syndrome Ireland.
"The annual presentation of the ALIVE Certificate for Volunteering is an important opportunity to recognise students for their volunteering, and to encourage their sense of civic responsibility," said Lorraine Tansey, Student Volunteer Coordinator for the ALIVE programme at NUI Galway.
She continued, "This year we are launching the Civic Engagement Fund, which has huge potential. Our community partners and students have so many innovative ideas that simply require some seed funding to turn them into concrete projects. It might mean money to hire a venue for a fundraiser or to print posters as part of a social awareness campaign. Ultimately, the real value of the fund will be in supporting students' enthusiasm for community involvement."
Katie Stack, fourth-year Occupational Therapy student at NUI Galway volunteered to befriend a person with an intellectual disability for Ability West. According to Katie, "Volunteering puts all the college work in perspective, it is important to know there is more to life. There is an impact for the service user but also for the volunteers, we love it."
Over the academic year the ALIVE programme has supported over 1300 students interested in volunteering and the year now culminates with students applying for an ALIVE Certificate for Volunteering. Professor Jim Ward, Deputy-President and Registrar of NUI Galway, and Galway City Mayor Tom Costello, are expected to attend the ceremony, as well as community members, students and NUI Galway support personnel.
The event takes place in the Aula Maxima, Quadrangle Building, NUI Galway, at 1pm on Thursday, 10 April.