65 students and five staff from Gurteen Agricultural College once again partnered with the Tipperary Volunteer Centre for a volunteering initiative recently. The group of ‘green-fingered’ students gave a full day of their time to help transform the exterior and gardens St Cronan’s Assosiation in Roscrea.
After successfully completing a similar project in St Anne’s Residential Service in Roscrea in January, the students and lecturers of Gurteen decided to give their time and skills to the community in Roscrea again in May.
The group came to St Cronan’s Association on what was a rainy – wet day in Roscrea. However, they didn’t let the weather deter their huge efforts as they volunteered their time doing manual work with different teams of students assigned to different projects. They transformed the front flower beds, helped create a sensory garden, power washed the front of the building and refurbished vegetable beds amongst many other tasks.
Melissa White, lecturer in Gurteen College, said that the students were enthusiastic about the project when it was proposed to them. "This group of first year Level 5 students enjoy working outdoors so the project in St Cronan's was ideal for them. They worked so well as a team and did not shy away from the tasks that were asked of them. It was great to see the finished product at the end of the day, the students left with a feeling of satisfaction and a job well done” Melissa said.
Dr Kathleen Mc Loughlin, CEO of St Cronans’s Association, which provides day support to more than 130 adults with intellectual disabilities and/or autism in Roscrea, Birr and Nenagh, said the staff and the Board of Directors were very grateful to Gurteen College for the wonderful work that was done and for the Tipperary Volunteer Centre for making the connection.
“Everyone is delighted with how clean and fresh the place looks. It’s absolutely brilliant. The students worked hard, on not the nicest of days, and everything went so smoothly. We would also like to thank the generous sponsors of the materials: Lisduff Quarries, Manor Stone, We Sell Stone, Milltown Garden Centre, Douglas Hardware, Birr Tool Hire and Doherty Hardware”.
Derek Fanning, Manager of Tipperary Volunteer Centre, said; “We are delighted to have partnered with Gurteen College this year. Both the students and their lecturers are a hardworking and enthusiastic group of people and a credit not only to themselves but Gurteen College and the wider community. We would especially like to thank Melissa White of Gurteen for so diligently organising this volunteering initiative.
"It is important for people to get involved in their communities from a young age. Our statistics show that if people volunteer at a young age, it is very likely that they will continue to volunteer throughout their lives. Volunteering is not only great addition to have on a CV but it’s the often-underestimated impact that it has on communities, like these projects undertaken by Gurteen College that showcase its real value to the social fabric of County Tipperary.” said Derek.