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Waterford volunteers address interactive Foróige conference

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Ashleigh O Sullivan, Sharon Erez, Emma Whelan, Easther Quinn, David Guilfoyle and Bridget Keane attend the 49th annual Foróige Volunteers Conference Waterford

Ashleigh O Sullivan, Sharon Erez, Emma Whelan, Easther Quinn, David Guilfoyle and Bridget Keane at the Foróige Volunteers Conference

Foróige volunteers from all over Ireland came together in the Hodson Bay Hotel in Roscommon last weekend for its annual Volunteer Conference.

Ashleigh O Sullivan, Sharon Erez, Emma Whelan, Easther Quinn, David Guilfoyle and Bridget Keane attended from Waterford.

Addressing the crowd on Saturday morning were Emma Whelan and Sharon Erez from Foróige Fresh Juniors in Lismore. They spoke about the Foróige Juniors Clubs, which are for young people aged 10-12. They meet in the Blue House in Lismore, where the young people get involved in creative activities such as baking and art, as well as debates on a wide variety of topics.

Foróige has over 6,500 volunteers working in its 650 clubs, 160 projects and programmes including Leadership for Life, Be Healthy Be Happy, the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) and the Aldi Foróige Youth Citizenship Programme, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Foróige volunteers are essential to the organisation’s engagement with over 50,000 young people year after year.

This was the 49th annual Foróige Volunteers Conference, with 250 delegates from 22 counties enjoying a wide variety of guest speakers, workshops and social events aimed at exchanging ideas to continue Foróige volunteers phenomenal work throughout the country. The theme of the conference this year was Foróige Volunteers – preparing young people for a changing world, exploring the future direction of youth work and best practice within the sector.  Psychologist and author Shane Martin gave the conference keynote address on the theme of happiness.