Volunteer Stories

Foróige is dependent on our volunteers to help to deliver our youth services around the country, they are a vital part of the team. Here are just a few of our volunteer stories.

“I just love it. The kids are fantastic. I really look forward to every group. The best thing is seeing the impact on the kids. One girl in particular has blown me away. She finds it difficult to say sorry or thank you, but every week without fail she comes up to me after the group and whispers ‘Thanks Margaret’.” 

Margaret, Foróige volunteer of 7 years, Donegal

“I volunteer in the Barryroe Foróige Club as I benefited so much from Foróige as a member. The Foróige ethos ‘empowering youth, enriching communities’ is a true reflection of what Foróige provides for my area. Foróige is for us all, for sharing our experiences, for learning from others, for helping others, for developing ourselves and for making good friends.”

Paul Finn, volunteer in Cork 

“Somewhere in Ireland there’s a young person who will be a future President or Taoiseach and we try and see that and do whatever we can to challenge people to rise to the occasion. That’s the thing about it that I have noticed over the years, that the ones who are more likely to come back in later years and talk with enthusiasm for the club are the ones that broke your heart. You thought they were getting nothing out of it. Somebody said to me, ‘If they keep coming back, they are getting something out of it. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be coming back.’ They have obviously got more out of if than you’d be thinking. I hope to see Foróige getting stronger, and it will continue to get stronger if we can get more leaders. When it started in 1952 people were starting from a very new situation, and we are now in a very new situation in this country. But there’s only one way to go and that’s forward.”

John Sullivan, a Foróige volunteer since 1964

“Foróige is in my blood and is at the heart of my family. Joining Foróige as a teenager gave me an interest in my community and an interest in doing rather than sitting back and waiting for others to do. I learned how democracy works and that without democracy you don’t get anywhere. The great thing about Foróige is that young people get involved as members and then come back as volunteers. The fact that young people have learned from and enjoyed that experience so much that they want to come back and give to their community is an amazing thing. I have been involved with Foróige right throughout my life because I see it as a great opportunity for young people to empower themselves and make tangible changes in the community.”

Margaret Henry, volunteer in Mayo

“I volunteer because I believe that our young people need a safe place where they can be themselves and express their ideas and have their voices heard. I get great pleasure out of meeting the young people and watching them develop and grow. I also learn so much from them and have made some great friendships.”

Dave O’Reilly, volunteer in Dublin

“I volunteered to set up a Foróige Youth Club as having a teenager myself, I saw the need for something in our village for young people. Also to help to develop my own leadership skills and have some fun! What benefits do I get from volunteering? Over the past five years as a volunteer leader I’ve learned the important role that the structure of Foróige offers the youth of today. I’ve also made many life-long friends through different events. It’s of huge satisfaction and rewarding to know that I can help make a difference to the personal and community growth of the young people in my area.”