Over 100 primary school pupils from north Dublin were today presented with certificates in volunteerism by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, in recognition of their work in the community.

The awards ceremony was the culmination of an innovative programme introduced by Localise, a youth and community development organisation, last September for primary school pupils. It is the first occasion that sixth class primary pupils participated in voluntary community service.

The youngsters from schools in Cabra, Glasnevin, Swords and Drumcondra assisted with voluntary organisations in their areas including:

  • Simon homeless facility in Dublin 7
  • The Mighty Ravens Special Olympics bowling team in Swords
  • The elderly community in Cabra
  • St Vincent de Paul Society, River Valley, Swords

Minister Donohoe presented the pupils with their certificates at a ceremony in St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, Dublin. He said: “It is wonderful to be present at an event where so many youngsters in primary school have engaged with those less well off in their community. Great credit is due to everyone involved.”

The Localise Spirit of Service programme was supported by the President of St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, Dr Daire Keogh, staff and students and with local adult volunteers in each community.

Eileen Whelan, School principal of St.Columba’s National School, Glasnevin, said: “The Localise programme was a huge success in our school. The students loved giving back to those in need. I would recommend everybody to get involved.” One of the young participants from St.Vincent’s Primary School Glasnevin, Brandon St Ledger, said: “I loved doing the Localise work. I got to help the homeless and I’d love to do lots more.”

Localise director Derek Cleary said: “This programme is an excellent example of young people rising to the call of voluntary action, and making a real difference in their communities.”

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