NUI Galway’s twelfth annual Volunteering Fair will take place on Wednesday, 25 September in the Bailey Allen Hall, from 1-5pm. With over 2,000 students, staff and members of the general public expected to attend, the Fair is part of a week-long celebration of volunteering at NUI Galway. Over 80 charities and community organisations will showcase the wide range of volunteer opportunities in Galway.
The Fair will be officially opened by Ruairí McKiernan, Social Innovator and member of the Council of State. He is a multi-award winning social innovator who was appointed to the Council of State last year by President Michael D. Higgins. Ruairí is the founder of the pioneering SpunOut national youth organisation and his work focuses on social justice, health and community empowerment campaigns, projects and publishing. He works internationally with numerous non-profit organisations and contributes regularly to the national media. He has recently completed a 'Hitching for Hope' hitch-hiking tour of Ireland and is currently writing a book about social change in Ireland.
Lorraine McIlrath, Coordinator of the Community Knowledge Initiative at NUI Galway, said: “The ALIVE student volunteering programme at NUI Galway celebrates a decade of activity with over 9,000 students attaining the ALIVE Certificate. Our community partners are essential to ALIVE and play a central role in providing volunteer roles within the community. Volunteering and civic engagement are a hallmark of the NUI Galway experience and students continue to actively seek volunteering opportunities with homework clubs in local schools, fundraising for national charities, befriending people with a disability, or volunteering abroad. Students benefit enormously from getting involved and gain valuable experience, while bringing energy, enthusiasm and a willingness to learn.”
Exhibitors at the Volunteering Fair will include: Gorta, COPE Galway, Amnesty International, Brothers of Charity, Croí Na Gaillimhe, Home Start Athenry, Ability West, Green Sod Ireland, Goal, Age Action West, AIDS West and Hope Foundation.
ALIVE - A Learning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience – was established by the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway to harness, acknowledge and support the contribution the University students make to Galway by volunteering. Through this programme students can access an online database of volunteer opportunities. The programme also includes a series of workshops to help students make the most of their volunteering experience. At the end of the academic year students can apply for an ALIVE Certificate which is awarded by NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne.
To date over 9,000 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.