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Youth volunteers help community and themselves - Ruane

2 April, 2008

Sinn Féin Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane has congratulated the Spirit of the Community award finalists at a ceremony in Belfast.

The all-Ireland awards celebrate and encourage young people to take part in volunteering in their local community or internationally.

Speaking at the event, the Education Minister said:

"Congratulations to all the young people present here tonight. They are an inspiration to young people and adults alike. Volunteering not only helps the local, national and international community, but helps young people develop their skills, responsibilities and gives them a sense of accomplishment from such a young age.

"It is refreshing to see these young people from across the North and South of Ireland participating in voluntary work. I am determined to send the message out to society that we value our young people and that they value their place within society by contributing and making it a better place for all."

Some of the volunteers worked in their own community whilst others assisted with building work in third world countries.

The Minister added:

"I was impressed by the range and variety of your volunteering. Some of you assisted with the elderly in your own community and those facing terrible poverty in third world countries. I am sure that I can speak for all those you have volunteered your time to assist when I thank you for your hard work and selfless approach to caring and making lives better."


The Spirit of the Community Awards are an all island award programme for outstanding volunteers and is partnered with the National Association for Principalsand Deputy Principals in the South of Ireland and the General Teaching Council for the North of Ireland.

This is the second year of the awards and there were 20 finalists, four of whom are from the North of Ireland.

The award ceremony is sponsored by Pramerica Systems Ireland. The company was founded in 2000 and develops software and operates a contact centre in Letterkeny, Co.Donegal. It develops and maintains technology based solutions to support the administration, marketing and sales of Prudential Financial Inc their parent company's product and services worldwide.

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