Reflecting Community Spirit

Respond honoured its Youghal volunteers during National Volunteer week, at a special award ceremony which took place Tuesday 14th May.

The Friends of Respond were setup in Youghal 20 years ago as a cross-community ecumenical group to advance the renovation of the old Protetant asylum. Shalom House which was converted into 24 apartments for older perople. Since then, a further facility for older people has been developed at St. Francis Court, Cork Hill.

Ned Brennan, chief operations officer with Respond said “The Youghal volunteers epitomise the ethos of Respond, where generous people come together and provice the necessary support for the more vulnerable members of our communities”.

Photographs for Friends of Respond event supplied by John Hennessy

Respond chose a unique way to acknowledge the contribution of the 500 plus volunteers on the occasion of National Volunteering Week 2013 which ran from 13th to the 19th of May 2013 by placing a mirror poster in each of their centres nationally stating ‘you’re what making a difference looks like’.

Respond wished to recognise the huge contribution volunteers make to their community. Celebratory gatherings are being organised locally around the county with thank you cards and a small token of appreciation being distributed on estates by Resident Support Workers during their weekly visits to residents, to show Respond’s gratitude for the work that is being done on the ground every day.

National Volunteering Week is a great opportunity to recognise the hundreds of men and women, who give freely of their time, day-in day-out, for the greater good of their community.  Respond believes that the success of many estates, community projects and centres nationally can be attributed to the work, dedication and vision of these remarkable people.

Respond’s capacity building strategies seeks to ensure communities foster the growth of the individual resident for the continued benefit of the whole community in order to counter disadvantage and promote inclusion. Respond’s community enablers and volunteers are key to the success of these endeavours.

Respond Ned Brennan Chief Operations Officer stated:

“National Volunteers week is an occasion to showcase the power of volunteering, however Respond specifically wished to mark this week of volunteering by celebrating and thanking each and every volunteer for their remarkable spirit of giving”.

Respond believe that National Volunteering Week is an excellent platform for organisations to spread the word about the good works being accomplished by volunteers, and perhaps in the process encouraging more people to engage in voluntary work.