Minister Joe O’Brien congratulates Localise Youth Volunteers Graduates in Swords

10th June, 2022

Minister O’Brien attended graduation of Youth Volunteers at The Holy Family Senior National School, Rivervalley, Swords

Minister of State for Rural and Community Development, Joe O’Brien TD, attended at The Holy Family Senior National School in Swords to mark the Localise Youth Volunteer Graduation of the 6th Class students.

The Localise Youth Volunteering programme began working in partnership with Holy Family SNS in 2010 and has an estimated 1,000 young people and 150 young adult and adult leaders participate in its programme in that time.

The programme introduces young people to the key concepts around volunteerism, as it challenges them to work as a team to identify, plan, organise and deliver a volunteering action project in their local community. Localise empowers young people to utilise their skills and unleash their potential to become active citizens and change makers within their own communities.

The Minister congratulated the youth volunteers, explaining that volunteers make a huge contribution in communities across our country.

Speaking at the Graduation Event Minister O’Brien said:

I am particularly delighted to see such enthusiasm and energy for volunteering in the young people here today. You bring a whole new mind-set to volunteering, a new generation of people willing to step-up and help others.  I visit volunteer centres across Ireland and it’s always great to see a wide range of volunteers across all ages and backgrounds because we can all learn from each other.

In October 2021, the young people were challenged by Localise and school staff to participate in a project to support their local St. Vincent de Paul. Every year, the school partners with Localise and SVP for food hampers for those in need for the local community. Because of COVID-19, a traditional food collection was not possible. After hearing from a local SVP representative, the students decided to fundraise and make donations of gift-cards so families in need can purchase their own food to celebrate the holidays as they see fit. The handover was completed in December 2021. This year, a value of €6,000 was donated because of the youth volunteers’ determination to make a difference.

Minister O’Brien continued:

I hope you also enjoyed your experience of volunteering. We also know from young people that being involved in volunteering comes with huge benefits – it gives opportunities make friends, to learn new skills, and make positive contributions to their communities, thereby increasing self-esteem and personal confidence.

For many young volunteers, Localise is the first step into volunteering, something that will bring you a sense of belonging, self-worth and camaraderie; something we all need.

Hopefully, your volunteering will not end here. As you go through life there will be many and varied opportunities to get involved which will bring joy to you and change the lives of those you help.”