Leading by

5,125 volunteers - talent, energy, time
Daniel Cronin

Daniel Cronin

21 year old Daniel Cronin is committed to giving something back to his local area. In September 2011 the young student decided that his community in West Cork had been without a youth club for far too long. Daniel set up the much needed Ballineen Foróige Club which meets in the local community centre every Friday night.

“For almost ten years, since the last youth club closed down, there has been very little for young people to do in my area. That’s why I decided to set up the club. Currently we have 43 young members and demand is so high that 10 more are on a waiting list to join. We want to get everyone involved but getting volunteers can be a challenge. When young people in the area hear what we are doing, they’re excited by all of the opportunities on offer and they want to get involved. For me, it’s exhilarating.”

Daniel explains that there is a lot going on at the club.

“We do everything from football to dodgeball, volleyball, netball and team-bonding exercises. We try not to focus solely on one activity and the aim is to get as many people involved as possible.“

Eileen Moitie

Eileen Moitie

Eileen Moitie feels that she has evolved as a volunteer during her two and a half decades as a Foróige leader. The primary school teacher started volunteering for Davidstown Foróige Club in Wexford back in 1987 – 25 years ago.

“My attitude has changed. When I first started I felt the need to be rushing around and organising things for the club. I’m more relaxed now and I’m a much better listener. The end product isn’t as important any more. I now realise that it’s the learning along the way that counts. That’s what Foróige does better than others in my view. The clubs are run by the members themselves, they make the decisions, my job is to facilitate it.”

Davidstown Foróige Club take part in a wide-range of activities, but Eileen says it’s the simple chats that have the greatest impact.

“Some of these young people don’t have a direction in life. The way I see it the most important thing for me is to be there for them and answer the simple questions rather than getting involved in big projects. They’re well fit to handle that themselves.“

Foróige’s 5,125 volunteers are truly the backbone of the organisation. They give of their time, energy and talents to make their communities a better place and to improve the lives of the young people who live there. There are lots of volunteering opportunities available in Foróige from Clubs to Garda Youth Diversion Projects to the Big Brother Big Sister youth mentoring programme.

In 2011, Foróige appointed a Volunteer Development Manager. Now, using his 20 years of experience in the organisation, Denis O’Brien will be working to significantly grow volunteer-led youth work in Foróige.

Denis says
“ For me this is about attracting more volunteers to the organisation and creating a variety of volunteer-led groups to appeal to more communities and young people across the country. Foróige has a proud tradition of volunteerism and I want to build on this by providing new opportunities for volunteers to engage with the organisation through many different roles. Some of our leaders only began volunteering during 2011 – some have been doing so for up to 40 years, they are an inspiring group of people and I am privileged to be working with them.”

Some of our leaders only began volunteering during 2011 – some have been doing so for up to 40 years, they are an inspiring group of people.