Foróige volunteers praised for work
Without Foróige’s army of 5,500 volunteers, a gaping hole would exist in youth work in Ireland.
David O’Reilly, chairperson of the National Council of Foróige, also described the organisation’s volunteers as extremely special.
“They are thoroughly dedicated to providing young people with opportunities which will empower them to reach their full potential in a safe and understanding space,” he said.
Mr O’Reilly thanked each and every volunteer who braved the winter night, became a mentor, and empowered Ireland’s young people to believe in their own potential.
He was speaking at the National Volunteer Conference in Kilkenny where 18 Cork people were among the delegates.
Foróige has more than 5,500 volunteers working in its 600 youth clubs countrywide and provides 160 projects and programmes such as the Aldi Foróige Youth Citizenship Programme; Leadership for Life; Be Healthy Be Happy; and Entrepreneurship.
The organisation supports over 50,000 young people, or one in 10 Irish teenagers year on year.
The conference saw delegates hear a variety of guest speakers, take part in workshops and exchange ideas on best practice in youth work.
Mr O’Reilly said that, in 2017, volunteers in Foróige gifted almost 400,000 hours to help support and develop young people the length and breadth of Ireland.
“This type of commitment doesn’t just happen, it must be co-ordinated and given the support it deserves,” he added.
Foróige volunteers at the National Volunteer Conference in Kilkenny: (front) Grainne Bagnell, Caroline Crowley, Bryan Dineen, Betty Kiely, Ber O’Brien, and (rear) Liam Winters, Lola O’Regan, Susan Daly, Mairéad O’Donoghue, Elaine Goss, Ciara Bogue, Frank Leahy, Edel Drumm, Vivian Field, Katrina Cullinane, Sharon Hughes, Ber Daly, and Paul Finn.