UL volunteers make a difference to city

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

KIND-HEARTED students at the University of Limerick have given over 8,000 hours in voluntary service to local community organisations to help make a difference to those in need.

KIND-HEARTED students at the University of Limerick have given over 8,000 hours in voluntary service to local community organisations to help make a difference to those in need.

The 130 students who have given their time generously to others have been honoured at the annual president’s volunteer award ceremony in UL.

The programme started two years ago to encourage students to engage with their communities and in social responsibility.

Over the course of the last academic year, the volunteers have collectively given over 8,660 voluntary hours to community organisations ranging from youth clubs, homework clubs, sporting clubs, and a broad range of organisations in the voluntary/community sectors.

UL president, professor Don Barry said UL students have a well-established volunteer tradition and are well known locally, regionally, nationally and internationally for their volunteering efforts.

“Volunteering will contribute positively to our students’ personal development as well as offering them the opportunity to develop and grow further skills that, along with their academic achievements, will make them not only attractive employees when they graduate but also better citizens,” said Professor Barry.

Some of the charities and organisations that have benefited from the students’ voluntary work include St. Vincent De Paul, Chem ar Cheim in Moyross, St. Mary’s after-school study club, the Deaf community, the Samaritans, Irish Hockey, and Limerick Youth Services. UL community liaison officer and co-ordinator of the programme, Gabriella Hanrahan, said the students who received the awards represent all four academic faculties in UL, and include first year students right up to postgraduate students.

Student volunteers also hail from all across the country, and include international students from Germany, Spain, Portugal and the USA.

Three students were selected to receive the ‘Outstanding Award’ for their exceptional contributions to society.