Foróige’s 50th Volunteer Conference 2022
Foróige volunteers from all over Ireland came together in the Tullamore Court Hotel in Co. Offaly this past weekend, 30th - 2nd October 2022, for Foróige’s annual volunteer conference. Minister Roderic O’Gorman was in attendance and spoke to volunteers, praising their continued efforts throughout the pandemic “Foróige volunteers have helped create communities that are vital to our society. The value of the contributions that are made by these volunteers cannot be overstated.”
This was the 50th annual Foróige Volunteers Conference, with 120 delegates from 16 counties enjoying a wide variety of guest speakers, group discussions and social events aimed at exchanging ideas to continue Foróige volunteers' impactful work throughout Ireland.
Barbara Daly, Foróige Chairperson, opened the conference and said of this momentous anniversary, “This year marks the 70th Anniversary of Foroige, and if we view the challenges ahead through the lens of history, we see that the organisation has continually evolved and changed through those seven decades, adapting to the needs of a given generation of young people, crossing each hurdle in its path and using obstacles as springboards to progress.”
Dr David Coleman, clinical psychologist, broadcaster and author was the keynote speaker at the conference and gave his insights into how to communicate with and help teenagers tackle the problem's they're facing in their lives.
We were joined by a host of Foróige volunteer speakers who talked about their experience with young people and volunteering with Foróige. Sarah Doonan talked about how she works alongside the Foróige staff on the Big Brother Big Sister Programme to support a young person in Co. Cavan; Aaron Hughes from Knock Foróige Club in Co. Mayo told us about all the incredible interactions he's had with young people by simply being himself and having fun; Shelly Dunican of Ferbane Foróige Club in Co Offaly has been a part of Foróige for over half her life and discussed how her Foróige journey helped shape who she is today.
Finally, we were also joined by a Foróige young person from Co. Mayo, Caitlyn Thompson (who was fresh from addressing Seanad Éireann the day before!) who talked about how she's for Foróige in her blood (her mother has been a Foróige volunteer for many years) and how it's part of family life at home.