Birthday bash for dedicated Limerick Youth Service volunteer at city’s youth cafe

Jess Casey

Reporter:

Jess Casey

Brendan Dale celebrated his 50th birthday with a surprise party at Lava Javas Youth Café

Brendan Dale celebrated his 50th birthday with a surprise party at Lava Javas Youth Café

THE LIMERICK Youth Service team surprised one of its dedicated volunteers with a birthday party to remember as he celebrated a milestone birthday.

LYS volunteer Brendan Dale was surprised at the Lava Java Youth Cafe on Lower Glentworth Street last week, with a party to celebrate his 50th birthday organised by his friends and colleagues.

Brendan, who has Down Syndrome, has been volunteering with the service on Glentworth Street for almost 20 years. 

“There’s a generation of Limerick people now who would know Brendan having gone through the Limerick Youth Service,” LYS youth information officer Dermot Troy explained. 

“People who would be in their forties now who would have known Brendan in their teens.” 

Brendan, one of the longest serving members of the LYS team, currently volunteers in the service’s community restaurant, Mr Troy added. 

“Brendan has been a volunteer with Limerick Youth Service for 19 years, volunteering between 30 to 35 hours a week.” 

“He came to Limerick Youth Service first through the Daughters of Charity as part of a work experience placement and he loved the place so much, he’s stayed here.” 

“There are a lot of young people with special needs and older people with special needs who volunteer with the Limerick Youth Service that come to us through the Daughters of Charity,” Mr Troy added. 

“It's good- its works both ways, for the young and old.” 

Brendan’s surprise party was full of music, as his guests danced to some of his favourite songs by ABBA. 

“He also got loads of presents,” Mr Troy added. 

A delicious chocolate cake was also baked for the occasion by learners on the Limerick Youth Service bakery team.

“Celebrating with his friends meant so much for him. He’s well-known, he’s got great friends.” 

“Sheila Walsh, an instructor with the Limerick Youth Service community restaurant, would have organized the party but as a whole all the instructors came together to organise the event.”

Limerick Youth Service works with more than 3,000 young people every year, providing a wide range of training across educational, social and personal development programmes. 

The organisation was founded in 1973 and has grown into the largest local youth service in the country. 

Limerick Youth Service also offers a wide range of volunteering options. For more information on Limerick Youth Service, send queries to lys@limerickyouthservice.com or call 061-412444.