SETU, in collaboration with the Volunteer Centre Waterford, hosted an engaging and vibrant volunteer fair at the University’s Cork Road Campus recently.
The day-long event aimed to inspire students to kickstart their volunteering journeys and connect with over 20 voluntary organisations, while showcasing the positive impact of volunteering on the broader community.
Among the organisations on campus were Alone, Samaritans, St Vincent de Paul, Waterford branches of the Irish Red Cross, Waterford Marine Search and Rescue, Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland, Family Carers Waterford, Brothers of Charity and Waterford Special Olympics.
NoName club, Barnardos, Oxfam, Girl Guides South East, WSTYCS (Waterford South Tipp Youth Community Services) and MAD Club Educational Project were also on hand to speak with students about the benefits of volunteering.
“Growing a culture of giving and fostering a sense of community and civic engagement are key to the development of our university graduates. Our SETU students are generous, willing to share their time and skills with others and engage with their community,” said event organiser Maria Cahill, who is a computing and mathematics lecturer at SETU.
Sharon Higgins, from the Waterford Volunteer Centre, expressed her delight at the event's overwhelmingly positive atmosphere, by saying, “This was our first volunteer fair since the inception of the Volunteer Centre in 2021, and we were blown away by the positivity and engagement the event generated.
“Waterford has a rich culture of volunteering, which is in safe hands judging from the interest shown by the students.”
As an advocate for volunteering, Prof Peter McLoughlin, Head of School of Science and Computing at SETU, spoke of the importance of student volunteers.
“Our students can have a transformative impact on our community through their generosity of spirit, evident in their willingness to volunteer. SETU is delighted to support the connectivity between our students and voluntary organisations, to harness the incredible potential of our students and support our communities,” Prof McLoughlin said.