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National Day of Volunteering 2011

5 October 2011

The Annual National Day of Volunteering (NDV) took place on Friday, September 30th and more than 75 students, members of staff and community members got involved in five different Trinity projects.  The National Day serves to encourage people to donate their time and skills for a few hours and experience hands on involvement in the community. Volunteers worked on projects with Habitat for Humanity, Age Action, Lighthouse Homeless Ministry, the Rediscovery Centre and with our very own Voluntary Tuition Programme to mark the occasion.

Students painting in Inchicore as part of the Habitat for Humanity projectIn Inchicore, student volunteered to paint, clean windows, garden and even fit door handles in the renovation of two homes for low income families. Through Habitat for Humanity's partnership with Dublin City Council, low income families have the opportunity to become first-time homeowners and the community will experience some regeneration as the previously derelict properties were often the scene of anti-social behaviour. Habitat sent us a thank you message too: "You were brilliant – ready for work from the get go, very committed to the task at hand and you didn’t stop until it got done! It was a pleasure to have you on site for the day and we really appreciate all of your efforts. Without the many volunteer days, Habitat for Humanity would not be able to keep these homes affordable to our homeowners. As you know our homeowners themselves, once mortgage approved, will be coming onsite to contribute their sweat equity (500 hours working to renovate their home alongside our volunteers). Your work will contribute to an Irish family owning their own home for the first time in their lives"

The TCD Environment Society joined forces with the Rediscovery Centre in Ballymun by getting their hands dirty in a clean up of the Centre's newly planted wildflower meadow in an effort to rejuvenate a derelict area and improve local biodiversity. The Rediscovery Centre is a community centre recycling and sustainability initiative which runs a number of diverse projects including Rediscover Fashion, Furniture, Paint, Recraft and Recycabike as well as educational initiatives working with schools and local businesses

The children, community members and students involved in the Voluntary Tuition Programme took over Physics Square for a collaborative art project and created the "Helping Hands Tree" which is on display on Campus during October. The Voluntary Tuition Programme (VTP) is a cooperative of members of the local community in Pearse Street and students of the College and it runs fourteen different activities each week ranging from primary school tuition, special needs tuition, to sports, drama and other activity clubs.

Student volunteer group "Vox" brought two teams to the Lighthouse Homeless Ministry on Pearse Street to help organise their clothes and supplies bank. The Lighthouse offers a twice weekly drop-in where there is a cup of tea, bowl of soup and toiletries and some donated clothes available as well as the opportunity to sit down to chat for people experiencing homelessness. This is the third time that a group of Trinity volunteers have helped out in the centre this year and the plan is to run the activity on a fortnightly basis into the future. Contact homelessness.voice@gmail.com to get involved.

Staff and Students also got involved in a 1950s themed event which took place on campus as part of Positive Ageing Week. "In the Mood" was organised by Age Action in collaboration with the Trinity College Dublin Equality office. Volunteers donned their vintage wardrobe to assist with The Fox Trot (a gentle stroll around St. Stephen’s Green) and the In The Mood Swing Dance Afternoon Tea Party

These outreach activities are all about giving members of the College a small taste of volunteering through once-off local project. There is no obligation to commit to anything beyond that but some discover a real passion for volunteering and decide to get involved further. Outreach activities offer an opportunity to get to know people from across campus, learn a bit about the community and have some fun while getting practical work done for charities and community organisations in need. To keep informed about future outreach activities, contact volunteer@tcd.ie.

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Last updated 6 October 2011 Civic Engagement (Email).