Kilkenny represented at Foroige conference

Gillian Mooney

Reporter:

Gillian Mooney

Email:

news@kilkennypeople.ie

Kilkenny represented at Foroige conference

Kilkenny's seven volunteers who attended the Foroige conference

By Gillian Mooney news@kilkennypeople.ie

Seven volunteers represented Kilkenny at the National Volunteer Foroige Conference recently - with the call going out for more

volunteers.

The conference which was held in Sligo last weekend, involved keynote speaker John Davis, Professor of Childhood Inclusion at University of Edinburgh, who held workshops and exchanged ideas on youth work.

Foróige also launched the results of a survey of 500 Foróige volunteers it conducted this year. The findings included:

-The biggest challenge facing volunteers working with young people was found to be ‘Too few volunteers’ according to over 31% of respondents

-89% of volunteers feel youth work needs greater resources

-When asked what aspect of youth work do you think needs greater resources? The largest proportion said ‘more funding for rural youth work’

The survey also revealed the benefit adults felt when they helped volunteer with youth, Sean Campbell, CEO of Foróige said “the work of youth work volunteers is crucial to the well-being of young people, what this survey shows is that it is also of enormous benefit to the adult volunteers.

“Volunteers tell us all the time that helping young people, getting involved in their local community and meeting other volunteers is one of the most positive forces in their lives. They found it helped find friends, teach new skills and even advance your career. Giving to others can also protect your mental health by keeping you mentally stimulated and providing a sense of purpose. We all need connection to others; it’s fantastic that our volunteers gain so much whilst giving to the young people of their communities.

“Without volunteers Foróige simply could not do the work that it does in reaching 50,000 young people each year through clubs, projects and programs like Youth Citizenship, Leadership and Big Brother Big Sister. They have helped so many young lives and empowered young people to develop; express themselves; and achieve things they may never have thought possible. We have an amazing army of 6000 volunteers in Foróige, but as the survey shows we need more, especially males.”