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UL Student Volunteer P.J. Murphy



After completing my undergrad in Economics and Sociology at UL I developed an interest in social care and rejuvenation which helped me to choose my masters. Learning about how some youths just need support and someone to facilitate them to reach a better place in their life intrigued me. When choosing my theses question, I began researching into youth crime and the services available to the adolescents of Ireland and what supports are there to direct them away from criminality and reduce reoffending. During my research, I came across the organisation Le Chéile which specialise in supporting young people who are involved in offending behaviour and make positive changes in their lives. This is done through their Youth Mentoring services that are mainly carried out by volunteers who get paired with a teen. I loved the whole idea of being able to directly impact a young person’s life in a positive way. For me, I believe the volunteer gets just as much, if not more, from the mentoring relationship with this teen as through the training and learning about this young person’s life you grow and learn a lot yourself. I felt motivated to do this because it aligned with my studies, but I felt it was important to show these teens that there are many ways to get into further education, third level or apprenticeships because all they might lack is the guidance and knowledge on how to do these things. Volunteering always seemed daunting to me but you grow, you meet new people, and you are offered a new perspective on life which is priceless. If you’re thinking about volunteering for anything, just go ahead and commit as I can assure you it will be a positive experience.  

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