Peo­ple are urged to lend a hand dur­ing vol­un­teer­ing week

Bray People - - NEWS -

AS NA­TIONAL Vol­un­teer­ing Week gets un­der way, County Wick­low Vol­un­teer Cen­tre is ask­ing the pub­lic to con­sider how they might con­trib­ute to their com­mu­nity and make a dif­fer­ence.

Ac­cord­ing to a new sur­vey by Vol­un­teer Ire­land, 67 per cent of peo­ple who vol­un­teer feel an in­creased sense of be­long­ing to their com­mu­nity and 70 per cent felt it gives them an in­creased sense of in­clu­sion and not be­ing alone.

Leah Kin­sella, Man­ager of County Wick­low Vol­un­teer Cen­tre, sin­gled out this link be­tween vol­un­teer­ing and con­nected com­mu­ni­ties as the fo­cus of this year’s cam­paign.

‘Vol­un­teer­ing builds bet­ter com­mu­ni­ties, it re­ally is as sim­ple as that,’ she said. ‘From lo­cal Tidy Towns groups to Com­mu­nity First Re­spon­ders and the par­ents coach­ing their chil­dren’s sports teams – com­ing to­gether to give back makes a com­mu­nity stronger.

When peo­ple vol­un­teer they feel closer to their com­mu­nity and the peo­ple in it, and they take pride in their com­mu­nity.’

Ms Kin­sella said that Ire­land has a strong cul­ture of vol­un­teer­ing and this was again clear dur­ing the re­ces­sion.

‘Vol­un­teers in com­mu­ni­ties that were hit hard came to­gether to do what they could to keep their town cen­tre alive, plant­ing flow­ers to brighten up the area or work­ing to­gether to cre­ate lo­cal events and fes­ti­vals.

‘ This cul­ture has only got­ten stronger since then as Ir­ish com­mu­ni­ties con­tinue to feel the im­pact of lo­cals who make a dif­fer­ence.’

Na­tional Vol­un­teer­ing Week be­gan on Mon­day and con­tin­ues un­til Sun­day, May 20.

Ac­cord­ing to Ms Kin­sella there is a vol­un­teer op­por­tu­nity to suit ev­ery­one. ‘ There is a wide va­ri­ety of roles suit­able for peo­ple of all ages and skill level,’ she said. ‘And giv­ing back doesn’t al­ways mean a huge time com­mit­ment ei­ther. Small ac­tions can make a big dif­fer­ence to a com­mu­nity.’

To find out more, call the cen­tre on 01 2040884 or 086 3258803, go to vol­un­teer­wick­low.ie or email info@vol­un­teer­wick­low.ie. CELEBRI­TIES will strut their stuff along­side mod­els with dis­abil­i­ties at a Fab­u­lous Fash­ion event to raise funds for chil­dren who at­tend St Cather­ine’s.

Dr Ciara Kelly of Op­er­a­tion Trans­for­ma­tion, broad­caster and for­mer news cor­re­spon­dent Charlie Bird, au­thor Cathy Kelly and De­sign Doc­tor Garry Cohn joined mod­els Cathy Macken and Kiera Broe for a wardrobe fit­ting ahead of the big event, which takes place at 7 p.m. at Fish­ers of New­town­moun­tkennedy on Wed­nes­day, May 23.

While they both have dis­abil­i­ties, Cathy and Kiera keep the fo­cus firmly on their abil­i­ties and are look­ing for­ward to putting them­selves in the spot­light when they hit the cat­walk.

St Cather­ine’s works with 200 chil­dren from ba­bies to 18 years with mod­er­ate to pro­found phys­i­cal and in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­i­ties.

‘I was a GP in Wick­low and worked with many of the fam­i­lies with chil­dren at­tend­ing St Cather­ine’s,’ said Dr Ciara Kelly about her de­ci­sion to get in­volved in the fundraiser. ‘I know how hard it is for th­ese fam­i­lies and there are never enough ser­vices. So I am de­lighted to be able to sup­port this event,’

Cathy Kelly has vis­ited St Cather­ine’s in the past and was also happy to do her bit to help.

‘I am a UNICEF am­bas­sador and have vis­ited St Cather­ine’s and seen the chil­dren and the staff and the con­di­tions they are work­ing un­der. I have seen the work they are do­ing un­der un­be­liev­able con­di­tions. So­ci­ety will be judged by how it treats its most vul­ner­a­ble,’ said Cathy.

Pro­ceeds from the ‘Fab­u­lous Fash­ion’ event will go towards devel­op­ment projects and equip­ment for St Cather­ine’s.

Tick­ets cost €25 and in­clude wine, fin­ger food and live mu­sic. There will also be lucky en­ve­lope and raf­fle draws.

Tick­ets are avail­able from St Cather­ine’s, Shelby Dinelli at (087) 2825459 or Fish­ers.

Seán with the Au­gust 11, 1989, is­sue of the Wick­low Peo­ple.

Seán and Joanie in New­town­moun­tkennedy dur­ing her re­cent visit.

Cathy Macken, Kiera Broe, Cathy Kelly and Dr Ciara Kelly at the wardrobe fit­ting ahead of the fash­ion show on Wed­nes­day, May 23, in New­town­moun­tkennedy.

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