One the 23rd January 18 Students and three staff from Gurteen Agricultural College partnered with the Tipperary Volunteer Centre for a volunteering initiative recently. They volunteered a full day of their time to help transform the exterior and courtyard of the day service in St. Anne’s Special School in Roscrea.
The students and their lecturers descended on St. Anne’s with a tractor, three power-washers, shovels and a hard work ethic in tow. They cleared overgrown flower beds, planted new flowers, refurbished the raised garden beds, power-washed and cleaned the entire courtyard area.
Melissa Mc Dermott, lecturer in Gurteen college, said that the students were delighted to take part in this volunteering initiative. “Our students love the kind of work where they are outside and getting their hands dirty! It’s the type of work they are used to doing and they were happy to put their skills to good use and help a very worthy cause like St.Anne’s,” Melissa said.
St Annes in Roscrea is a special needs school which provides individual education plans for boys and girls from 4 to 18 years of age who present with general learning disabilities and who reside in North Tipperary, the South Midlands and parts of Laois.
Catherine Linden, Residential Service Manager in St.Annes, said that that this volunteering initiative came just at the right time as the area badly needed to be done and they simply didn’t have the man-power or the equipment to take on that kind of workload themselves.
Catherine commented on the work that was done saying “the generosity and good spirit of the students has been overwhelming. Everyone wanted to be here and to help, it was obvious from the students and their enthusiasm to get the job done on the day”.
Sara Mc Donnell, Tipperary Volunteer Centre, said; “We were so thrilled in the Volunteer Centre when the staff in Gurteen College agreed to do a volunteer project of this scale. The volunteers worked so hard on the day to make sure everything they set out to do, was done to perfection.”
“It is important for young people to give back to their communities. It helps to improve them as individuals, build their confidence and give them a sense of belonging. It gives them an opportunity to make their community and society a better place. Volunteering is also valuable to have on CV as it is looked on very favourably by recruiters.”
“On behalf of the Tipperary Volunteer Centre and St. Annes Special School, I would like to thank everyone involved in this fantastic volunteer programme. It was a huge success and the work done was outstanding. We look forward to working with Gurteen Agricultural College again in the future,” Sara said.