Students and staff of Gurteen College helping out at St Anne's Residential Service in Roscrea
Seventeen students and four 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 internal courtyard of the Villa’s at St. Anne’s Residential Service in Roscrea, Co. Tipperary.
The students and their lecturers descended on St. Anne’s with a tractor and trailer, 4 power-washers (supplied by Birr Tool Hire), their own yard tools and a hard work ethic in tow. They cleared overgrown flower beds, planted new flowers (supplied by Milltown Garden Centre, Shinrone), refurbished the raised garden beds, power-washed and cleaned the entire courtyard area
Melissa White, lecturer in Gurteen college, said that the students were delighted to take part in this volunteering initiative. “Our students at Gurteen College are very motivated, driven and practical-minded. They enjoy working outdoors and found the work at St. Anne’s a very worthwhile cause. The students work well as part of a team but also know when to take their own initiative to achieve their goals.” Melissa said.
The residential service in St Anne's provides residential care and supports to adults with varying degrees of intellectual disabilities. Each person resides in a home designed to meet their needs. This service is spread out across the mid-West and into Offaly. They are based in many towns and hinterlands providing a service to 115 residents with over 250 staff.
Catherine Linden, Residential Service Manager in St.Anne’s, said 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. Anne’s Residential Service, 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.