By Debbie Reid, Localise Youth and Community Coordinator

For almost 20 years Clondalkin Localise Youth Volunteers have been actively making a difference in their community. In 2002 one of their first projects was with Peamount Hospital. This Hospital specialises in providing care for people who have acquired brain injuries or progressive neurological illness. This year, under the direction of the Peamount staff, the group wanted to show some Christmas Care to Neuro-Rehabilitation Unit, as many of the patients would be spending Christmas in the hospital and away from family.

As well as bringing some Christmas cheer to the patients, the Youth Volunteers wanted to acknowledge all the amazing work that the staff were doing, particularly during these challenging times. The young people created handmade cards and care packages, along with a video for the patients and staff, showing this love and support.

Most of the planning and prepartions was done over zoom including doing a Christmas card making workshop. Stencils, stickers and some supplies were given to the young people. The Youth Volunteers had a great time blasting Christmas music, chatting away to each other, while cutting, sticking and writing personalised messages for the patients and staff. The finished cards were posted back to the Localise HQ.

Circumstances allowed the group to meet in person once before the big hand over. While adhereing to all governemtn guidelines in relation to covid complience the group created all 40 care packages as well as making their video of encouragement.

Staff and patients were very appreciative of the noble gesture of the young people, that made those lovely gift bags and cards. All  the patients who received the gift bags have been discharged but were really appreciative of the young people of Clondalkin Localise. The staff on the unit were very happy receiving the cards and gift bags which they have never received before and was appreciative of the thoughtfulness. One of the staff remarked today that the little things in the bag were very thoughtful and has kept the card too.

We very much appreciate the leaders who coordinated this project and most of all for thinking of us and organising to deliver the gift bags to us. Staff felt appreciated and thus motivated to endeavour through these difficult times.Mini-Mary Paul, Senior Staff of the Neuro Rehabilitation Unit

The Localise Community Youth Programme is a seed programme that awakens the spirit of volunteerism and helps develop key skills necessary to respond to real needs within the local community. It is designed for youth and community programmes, enabling young people ages 11-25 to be active and give back to their community.

The programme is divided into 5 modules. Meeting are typically timetabled once a week, some sessions can be completed virtually through Zoom when necessary. It typically takes between 8 and 10 weeks to complete this programme.

The Localise Community Youth Programme is available free of charge for youth and community groups and can be accessed online via