By Deborah Reid, Education Coordinator with Localise Youth Volunteering
“When I’m older, I hope to be at least half as brave as you are” this is the message from Roisín aged 16, to the frontline workers in her local hospital.
On Friday the 12th of February Localise Youth Volunteering delivered 1,000 Valentines postcards to the staff working in hospital ICU’s throughout Dublin. Frontline workers in the Mater Hospital, Tallaght Hospital, Beaumont Hospital and James Connolly received chocolate treats hand designed created by young people to show their love and support for the staff working relentlessly during this third wave of Covid.
“We can’t express how thankful we are for the staff in our local hospitals, for their amazing work and the extra hours they have put in for all of us. We really appreciate all that they do and how they are still risking their own health to care for our community.” – Lauralouise, Localise Young Adult Volunteer and DCU student
Over the last three weeks Localise Youth Volunteers from communities in Clondalkin, Swords, Castleknock and Drumcondra along with DCU student volunteers created images and personalised messages that were delivered to the staff in time for Valentine’s Day.
As restrictions continue in 2021 the Localise Youth Volunteers persevere, using their skills and imagination to enable them to still deliver positive and impactful community projects, reminding the staff of their local hospitals that their community is still cheering them on. And their efforts were universally well received, a frontline worker posted on Facebook “Thank you for my card ❤️ it really put a smile on my face ☺️ and you have no idea how lovely it was to receive it🥰 thank you and stay safe”.
Minister Paschal Donohoe added his voice to the many tweets praising this project saying “Typical of the wonderful work that @LocaliseYouth do.”
A video collage of messages from young people was also created, this was sent to the Hopsital workers as an accompanyment to the cards and chocolates.
“The young people in Localise Youth Volunteering have brought much needed kindness to our Intensive Care Team at the Mater Hospital in advance of St. Valentine’s Day. The young volunteers presented to our team handmade cards with special messages of support which has lifted our spirits. It can never be underestimated the impact of small acts of kindness and we are delighted to be the recipients of this kind gesture. Thank you to all the volunteers and the team in Localise.” – Nuala King head of mission Mater Hospital Dublin 1.
Localise Youth Volunteering is a national organisation that awakens the culture of volunteerism amongst young people.
“It is vital to give young people a sense of purpose and the ability to use their talents to help others during these challenging times – Localise programmes ensure that both young people, and those in need are still connected and that the spirit of volunteerism prevails” Derek Cleary, Localise Director.
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 all ages and easily fits with existing youth work initiatives or can be implemented as a stand-alone volunteering programme. The programme is divided into 5 modules, some sessions can be completed virtually when necessary. It typically takes between 8 and 10 weeks to complete this programme.
The Localise Community Youth programme is available free of charge to all schools and can be accessed online via virtual.localise.ie
Localise Youth Volunteering has been working with young people to implement youth led volunteering programmes since 1972 and is supported by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Affairs.