Niall Breslin (Bressie) recently accepted the TU Dublin Social Justice Hero Award at the TU Dublin Student Volunteering Awards in May.
The Social Justice Hero Award was inaugurated in 2017 by the Student Volunteering Committee, with Sr. Stanislaus Kennedy receiving the first award in recognition of her impactful work in supporting those affected by homelessness. Other awardees include Tony Bates, founder of Jigsaw, recognised for his immensely important work in young people's psychological health.TU Dublin Student Volunteering Committee was delighted to continue the Social Justice Hero Award tradition and look forward to the opportunities the award will bring in the future.
At the virtual event, Niall was interviewed by the Chairperson for Student Volunteering at TU Dublin, Finn O'Neill and the Student Volunteering Champion Sami Corcoran. He shared some inspirational words with students. "Ask yourself what your values are. Ask yourself to the lowest pit of your gut what do you stand for and what drives you, and when you are 95 and you are signing out of this world, what do you stand for and what do you want to be known as? They're your values, and they are your north star."
Niall also said students and young people are the groups that will steer our futures, that activism is not about speaking to the people who already agree with us and that social media is not the answer! The full interview with Niall is available here.
The TU Dublin Student Volunteering Awards are a celebration of student volunteers in recognition of their contribution and show how much TU Dublin values students' extra-curricular civic engagement activity, both on-campus and off-campus, despite the challenges of Covid or indeed in response to them.
Throughout the year, TU Dublin students registered their volunteering hours on the StudentVolunteer.ie platform where they could find opportunities to help others that suit their skills, exercise their strengths and ultimately benefit their social and professional development while also coming together with the wider volunteering community at TU Dublin through training, networking and social activities.
140 students from across the University were awarded for their generous volunteering activity the TU Dublin Pillar of the Community Award, for which there are three categories - Gold, Silver and Bronze.
TU Dublin Volunteering is extremely proud of all the students who have worked hard as individual volunteers and those who have worked together in groups this year. The following figures paint just a fraction of the picture since September 2020.
- 300+ Society Committee Members
- 100+ Sports Club Committee Members
- 150 Peer Mentors
- 750+ Class Reps across the University
- 319 Student Volunteers registered on www.studentvolunteer.ie
- 3,800 + volunteering hours logged
But it is important to note that this is only a fraction of all the student volunteering hours that have been achieved by our students this year!
Off-campus volunteering included Asfand Bakht Yar's work on the million-tree planting project with easy treesie; 100s of TU Dublin students and staff walking 155km in March for Relay For Life for the Irish Cancer Society; Thomas Doyle walking 500mile for the RNLI. In addition, new partnerships were formed with charities such as Third Age Ireland, Fighting Words and Ash Animal Rescue, and old partnerships maintained and strengthened by our students.
TU Dublin students have been living the TU Dublin strategy revolving around People, Planet and Partnerships, and they have been making great strides in hitting the UN Sustainable Development Goals through their volunteering activity and building skills that will stand to them in their careers and throughout their lives.
We were delighted to share our student volunteers' inspirational stories at the Awards celebration and here on YouTube.
For more information, please contact: Claire Flannery, Claire.firstname.lastname@example.org.