Foróige volunteer Annette Woolley has won a Volunteer Ireland Award in the category of Youth and Children. Annette is a role model, leader and mentor to countless children and teenagers that she volunteers with. She founded and coordinates 3 multi award winning youth clubs in Jobstown and Tallaght. They are the MC Teens, Kreative Kidz and the Little Monsters clubs which cater to young people from 7 to 18 yrs old. Annette delivers leadership and entrepreneurship programmes to young people and not only that, she is also the Chairperson of Foróige's Council in Tallaght!
Club member Aoibhe Thornton nominated Annette for the Volunteer Ireland Award. Aoibhe says, “Not all the kids she works with know just how much she does or the difference she makes to people’s lives but that doesn't matter because I know the sacrifices she makes and the effort she puts in. She has helped us become confident young citizens who can make a positive impact on the world. I speak for all my fellow club members past and present when I say she is a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, an agony aunt, a teacher, a motivator, a friend and the best volunteer ever!”
Also nominated was Jerome Gibson, a valued volunteer at Foróige's LEAF Garda Youth Diversion Project in Raphoe, Co. Donegal. Jerome has been a member of the team since 2010 and has co-facilitated various groups and programmes in the last 4 years. He has played a vital role in the education of young people who have or are at risk of engaging in anti-social and criminal behaviour. Some examples of the educational work Jerome co-facilitates are: motivation to change, victim empathy, consequences of crime, changing attitudes, substance misuse and road safety.
Jerome supervises group outings and was asked to be a part of the Garda Youth Diversion Project Management Committee in 2012. Jane McLean nominated Jerome for a Volunteer Ireland Award and said, “Jerome has engaged with the Garda Project as a young person from the age of 12. When he turned 18 he asked to become a volunteer and we were very grateful to have him as part of our team. As Jerome is from the same community, a lot of the referred young people find it very easy to relate to him and he is full of patience, warmth and fun when he is around them. He is an amazing role model for these young vulnerable teenagers and demonstrates on a daily basis how making the right choices can lead to a more fulfilling life.”
We are thrilled for Annette and Jerome and love to see their hard work recognised.