Unemployed Laois college students to be offered volunteer work

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

volunteering

Launch of Laois Youth Volunteers and Laois Young Creatives project

A new initiative has been launched in Laois to fill the CV gap for third level students unable to find a summer job due to Covid-19.

Laois County Council, Laois Partnership Company and Laois Offaly Education & Training Board will co-ordinate the long titled Laois Youth Volunteers and Laois Young Creatives.

They hope it will encourage a spirit of volunteerism in people aged 18 to 25, while helping local groups like Tidy Towns, Cemetery committees and Meals on Wheels.

At the end of the summer, the students have a chance to win Young Volunteer of the Summer awards with cash prizes totalling €2,500. 

Categories include individual or collaborative projects in arts/communications/ICT, Biodiversity, local history projects, Volunteer of the Summer and in the arts.

It was launched at the June council meeting by Director of Services for community development Donal Brennan.

“As a result of Covid-19 young people have less opportunity for summer jobs. We are encouraging them to get involved with their local community groups, to fill a void in their CVs. There will be different categories including biodiversity and history,” he said.

“In addition, if they volunteer with Tidy Towns or cemetery groups, we will increase their annual grant by 20%," he said.

Cemetery groups will also get a 20% increase in grants, once these groups recruit more than five students.

“It is a small step to help that cohort of people,” Mr Brennan said.

The idea was warmly welcomed by council members.

“It will enhance communities and give young people a greater sense of pride,” said Cllr James Kelly.

“It is absolutely brilliant. I know the meals on wheels will welcome help and it gives people work experience,” said Cllr Ollie Clooney.

Students must register with the Laois Partnership Volunteer Information Service, naming the group they wish to volunteer with, with that group’s agreement then required.