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Kerry charity shortlisted for two national volunteer awards

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A Kerry charity has been shortlisted in two categories at this year’s Volunteer Ireland Awards, which take place in December.

Tralee’s Noreen O’Flaherty, who has been with cancer support charity, Recovery Havensince its inception in 2010, is among the three finalists in the Health and Well-being category, while the charity’s entire volunteer team has also made the top three in the ‘Larger Group’ category.

The esteemed awards shine a light on the remarkable achievements of volunteers around the country by honouring them at a national level.

Noreen was selected for her selfless commitment to the charity for the past 10 years, not only as a key member of the gardening group and valued volunteer listener, but as a trained programme facilitator for the ‘Thrive and Survive’ programme, undertaking training and subsequently delivering 10 six-week programmes to Recovery Haven clients. She also undertook training to deliver the ‘Building Better Caregivers’ programme in 2020, aimed at supporting those caring for a loved one with cancer. All this is done on a voluntary basis, in addition to Noreen’s hands-on work in the charity’s garden and in the house itself.

The second nomination is for the charity’s entire team of volunteers, who are an integral cog in the Recovery Haven Kerry wheel. This includes the charity’s volunteer listeners, therapists, gardeners, fundraisers and board members.

At the height of COVID-19 restrictions, the charity’s volunteer listeners came together to provide a phone support service for clients who could not visit Recovery Haven due to lockdown, making over 2,000 phone calls since March 2020.

Recovery Haven Kerry Manager Siobhan MacSweeney described the volunteers as the lifeblood of the organisation who, she said, keeps Recovery Haven’s heart pumping and full of vitality.

“For the past decade, I have had the pleasure of spending time on a daily basis with members of our volunteering groups. The simple truth is that we would not be able to deliver our services without them. We depend on them, we need them and they give us so much more that we can ever give them. They say volunteers aren’t paid because they are priceless, and we could not afford all that they give. Each volunteer, their skills and time make up a large part of Recovery Haven, so I am delighted with this acknowledgement for all our volunteers.”

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SURVEY: Locals are reducing their social contacts

It is just over a week since new restrictions were announced by the Government in an another effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. In our latest online poll we asked our readers if they had reduced their social contacts over the course of the last week. An overwhelming 62.90% said they had reduced their […]

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It is just over a week since new restrictions were announced by the Government in an another effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

In our latest online poll we asked our readers if they had reduced their social contacts over the course of the last week.

An overwhelming 62.90% said they had reduced their level of contacts with people.

Interestingly, 37.10% of people had made no change to their lifestyle, but they could have been extra cautious already.

A tiny minority – just 1.61% – said they increased their social contacts over the last week.

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Staff and students highlight important message

By Michelle Crean Local students went to great efforts on Friday last to highlight a very important message about inclusion. Staff and students in Killarney Community College came together for ‘Stand Up Awareness Week’ as part of a national campaign where second-level schools take a stand against homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying. All staff wore […]

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By Michelle Crean

Local students went to great efforts on Friday last to highlight a very important message about inclusion.

Staff and students in Killarney Community College came together for ‘Stand Up Awareness Week’ as part of a national campaign where second-level schools take a stand against homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying.

All staff wore a rainbow colour and students wore rainbow coloured accessories to show their support for the campaign as Killarney Community College is a diverse, inclusive, accepting, and welcoming safe space for everyone.

The majority of students made a particularly great effort in terms of wearing rainbow coloured accessories were awarded house points.

During the week, the LGBTI+ flag was hanging proudly in the school canteen. Transition Years decorated the General Purpose area with informative posters, and in SPHE classes, students learned about LGBTI+ terminology and history.

“It’s important that school is a safe and inclusive place for anyone attending regardless of their race, sex, religion or sexuality,” Principal, Stella Loughnane, said.

“I’m delighted that our school community marked the occasion and brought great colour while highlighting a very important message. One of the key words of our mission statement is inclusion making this awareness day a very apt one.”

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