This Christmas party was like many other Christmas parties, with novelty jumpers, cards, gifts, party games, music, song and the obligatory Christmas cracker jokes. But it was very different in others, this party was held via Zoom.

Recognising that many Christmas events were curtailed this year, Second Year students from Malahide, Portmarnock Educate Together Secondary School (MPETSS) hosted a virtual Christmas Party for some of the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) service users the Life Skills programme.

Preparation was the key to making this event such a success. Well in advance of the party, gifts were bought, wrapped and sent to CRC along with homemade cards for everyone in attendance. A running order was created, outlining the roles and responsibilities of each student, this helped enormously with the smooth running if the party.

“It is so great to have our service users included in this event, we had to cancel our traditional Christmas party this year for obvious reasons, so thanks for organising this” Elizabeth Plunkett CRC

“Having Localise in our school has been a tremendous boost to the students and to the staff. This project has really boosted morale at a difficult time for everyone involved in school life” Aoife Kelly-Gibson, Principal, Malahide, Portmarnock Educate Together Secondary School.

The Localise Classroom to Community programme is available free of charge to all schools and can be accessed online via

Classroom to Community 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 all ages and learner types and easily fits with existing curriculum components or can be implemented as a stand-alone volunteering programme.

The programme is divided into 5 modules. Classes 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.

Localise Youth Volunteering has been working in partnership with schools to implement student led volunteering programmes since 2007.

By Harry Keogh, Education Coordinator with Localise Youth Volunteering