130 students from the University of Limerick were honoured at the annual President’s Volunteer Award ceremony. The University of Limerick established the President’s Volunteer Award (PVA) Programme in 2010 to encourage students to engage with their communities and become lifelong believers in social responsibility. Over the course of the last academic year, the 130 student volunteers have collectively given over 8,660 voluntary hours to community organisations ranging from youth clubs, homework clubs, sporting clubs, and a broad range of organisations in the voluntary/community sectors.
Speaking at the event, UL President, Professor Don Barry said; "UL students have a well-established volunteer tradition and are well known locally, regionally, nationally and internationally for their volunteering efforts. The feedback from organisations hosting and supporting our 2012 PVA recipients suggests the goodwill generated by UL student volunteers has the potential to open up opportunities for future collaborative work in the areas of research and development for both students and staff. Volunteering will contribute positively to our students’ personal development as well as offering them the opportunity to develop and grow further skills that, along with their academic achievements, will make them not only attractive employees but also better citizens.”
Some of the charities and organisations that have benefited from the voluntary work of the 2012 PVA recipients include St. Vincent DePaul in Limerick City, Chem ar Cheim in Moyross, St. Mary’s afterschool study club, the Deaf Community, the Samaritans, Irish Hockey, and Limerick Youth Services. Speaking from the ceremony today UL Community Liaison Officer and PVA Co-Ordinator, Gabriella Hanrahan said “the students receiving awards today represent all four academic faculties in UL as well as all years, and include first years right up to postgraduate students. Student volunteers also hail from all across the country, from Clare to Carlow, Donegal to Cork and include international students from Germany, Spain, Portugal and the USA.”
Three students were selected to receive the ‘Outstanding Award’ which is presented in recognition of individuals who have made exceptional contributions to society through their innovative and creative volunteering work. The ‘Outstanding Award’ recipients were; Laura- Anne Furlong from Bridgetown, Wexford, who is completing her PhD in Biomehanics at UL and worked towards the development of the Irish Hockey Association; Paul Thomas Campbell from Newry, Co Down who is completing his Masters in Interactive Media and volunteered with the homeless in Limerick and Liam Guilfoyle from Killarney, Co Kerry studying B.Sc. (Education) in Biological Sciences and who volunteered with the Order of Malta and Irish Water Safety.