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Volunteers at the Ennis Coder Dojo, Deirdre Murphy, Russ and Laura Painter, Matt Rowley and John McFarlane were amongst the Clare Youth Service volunteers to be recognized with long service awards recently. Photo by Paschal Brooks

CYS volunteers’ contributions to young Clare people honoured

THE contribution Clare Youth Service volunteers make to young people in Clare has been celebrated at the recent annual CYS Volunteer Awards.

After two years of virtual events CYS were thrilled to be able to hold their annual Volunteer Awards in person with the support of Ei Electronics. The annual Volunteer Awards are a key feature of the Clare Youth Service calendar in which CYS recognise important milestones in the voluntary service of the people upon whom the Service depends.

The Volunteer Recognition Pin is awarded across the country to Youth Work Ireland Volunteers who give their time and energy to help and support young people by running youth clubs and schemes, supporting programmes, supporting organisations as advisers, fundraisers and as members of local and national boards.

The scheme is based on recognizing length of service through the presentation of pins; Silver for five years and Gold for 10 years.

In total there are 222 volunteers currently registered with Clare Youth Service, the vast majority actively involved in working directly with young people in volunteer led youth clubs.

Volunteers also serve as trustees and work alongside professional staff in a number of projects throughout the County.

At the event Vicky Howard, chair of the board and herself a recipient of an award, explained that the event is, “A small way to extend a huge “Thank You” to all volunteers and especially those volunteers receiving awards. The concept of “One Good Adult” has recently been recognised as crucial to the wellbeing and development of young people, and all of the volunteers involved with CYS over the past fifty plus years truly known the values of community, mentoring and positive relationships.

Ciara Carmody, Kilmaley Youth Club and Vicky Howard receiving their awards for Volunteering with Clare Youth Service.

“Each is a selfless “Good Adult” enriching our community and impacting the lives of our younger citizens. Their voluntary effort is the backbone of Clare Youth Service and this has been the case for half a century, they are the core of the service which never changes but the context of the work does.”

Vicky explained that the service wants to free volunteers to do what they do best—improve the lives of young people. CYS are continuing to develop supports for volunteers and investing in software, training, administration systems that helps them to help our young people reach their potential.

“None of this comes without a cost and we are fortunate in our funders and partners EI Electronics who sponsor the CYS Awards Programme as well as supporting us on other projects such as the key Development Group Work Programme.

“They are a Clare company with a strong track record of community involvement and recognition of their local roots. Their support is a great enabler for Clare Youth Service.”

Chief Executive of Ei Electronics Mick Guinee said, “Communities across the county owe much to the spirit of volunteerism and this is especially the case for our young people who thrive on good, open communication and opportunities to express themselves and test new ideas in a safe and creative environment.

“They benefit greatly from the large team of volunteers supported by Clare Youth Service in clubs and projects throughout the country. EI Electronics is delighted to partner with CYS — both organisations are deeply rooted in the Clare Community and we are proud to recognise all volunteers and especially those recognised tonight. They are fantastic local role models and Ei Electronics and I wish CYS every success in all their activities, not least in the support and development of new and incoming volunteers within Clare Youth Service.”

For the Five Year pins there were nine from Triple C Youth Club, which reopened in 2017. They are Colin McNamara; Fergal Donnellan; Kevin Finn; Valene Grogan; Berni Kelly; Declan Meaney; Sean McNamara; Aine O’Brien and Linda O’Gorman.

From Kilmaley Angela Killeen received a Five Year award as well as Ciara Carmody who is also on the Board of CYS while Vicky Howard the Chair of the Board also received an award. All CYS Board members are volunteers.

The ten year pins were awarded to Ray Hogan from Bodyke – Ogonnelloe – Tuamgraney youth club and Laura and Russ Painter two of the founding volunteers with Ennis Coder DoJo.
Anyone interested in finding out more about volunteering can email for further information or speak with Brian on 065 6845354 or 086 6090051

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