ON Friday evening Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald and Minister for Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan, will jointly present awards at the Fr. McGrath Family Resource Centre to honour the work of volunteers in our communities.
The special awards ceremony will acknowledge the key role and importance of volunteerism in our communities and the valuable services for young and old that have developed as a result of their efforts. More than four hundred volunteers now support the many activities and services developed by the registered charitable and not for profit organisation St. Canice’s Community Action, including the Fr. McGrath Family Centre, Kilkenny Carlow Contact Service and the St. Canice’s Neighbourhood Hall project and Kilkenny Jobs Club.
Chairperson, Pat Brennan, said that the contribution to civil and community services made by volunteers in this state has allowed the development of many critical and important community services that the government recognise need to be in place but was not financially in a position to develop on their own.
Nearly two hundred volunteers support the Family Centres work with children in homework and after school programmes and a further 130 volunteers work with the Kilkenny Contact programme to support older people living alone in their communities. Many more volunteers now operate from the Neighbourhood Centre on the Butts Green where they have established Men’s support groups, social contact cafes, older persons support services mental health support groups and many more social and community beneficial activities.
Pat said, ’In the twenty years we have been working with volunteers we have learned that one thing is very important to them and that is to feel that the work they are involved in is valuable and that their efforts are appreciated and their time valued. ‘ ‘We are grateful to both Ministers for their support in helping us to honour some of our many volunteers.’ He added.
The Special Awards Ceremony starts at 7pm on Friday and is open to all, particularly any person who has volunteered in the family centre or neighbourhood hall services in past years.