AMASSING over 12,000 hours of volunteering, some 217 students at the University of Limerick have been honoured at the annual President’s Volunteer Award ceremony.
The programme was established five years ago to encourage students to engage with their communities and become lifelong believers in social responsibility.
Applications to the programme increased by 42% in the past academic year and the range of student community-led initiatives and collaborations continues to grow year on year.
The recipients this year represented the entire study body; access, undergraduate, post-graduate, international, Erasmus and study abroad students - all contributing to worthy local organisations.
Speaking at the event, UL president, Professor Don Barry, said these awards are a wonderful opportunity to recognise the contributions UL students are making locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.
“During this academic year UL students contributed over 12,000 hours of their time to volunteering work and, since the establishment of the PVA in 2010, over 40,000 volunteer hours have been documented. Student volunteering continues to be the largest civic engagement activity on campus,” said Prof Barry.
The activities of volunteers ranged from countless hours volunteering with Pieta House, the Reserve Defense Forces, fundraising for a wide variety of charities, working with homework clubs for children throughout the city, developing new and exciting fun initiatives like the Teddy Hospital to help sick children overcome their fear of medics and hospitals.
Over 300 volunteer clubs, societies and organisations have benefitted from the volunteer work of UL students.
The award recipients represent almost every county in Ireland as well as countries including Spain, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Japan, China, the USA and Canada.