Donegal students promote positive mental health and volunteering

Transition Year class in Loreto Letterkenny are taking action

Donegal students promote positive mental health and  volunteering

Loreto students Amy Bovaird, Alisha Cuskelly, Ella McAlary and Maria Soffe who are involved in the project

Young Social Innovators from a Transition Year class in Loreto Letterkenny are taking action
to raise awareness about social issues that matter in our local community.

This Young Social Innovators (YSI) class has developed a project called Peace of Minds which focuses on the issue of mental health. They wished to raise awareness and help improve the well-being of
people in our community which is particularly important in these difficult times due to the
ongoing pandemic.

The class aim to add a bit of fun and light to life during the pandemic and recognise the goodwill and integrity in those around us.

They aim to achieve this by using a dual approach covering two strands:
1. Promoting Positive Mental Health.
2. Promoting Volunteering.

In order to ‘Promote Positive Mental Health’, these young innovators created two social
media accounts to share positive affirmations and messages.

According to the students: “We wanted to set a healthy reminder that it’s ok not to be ok.
We shared many helpful quotes and ideas on how to improve your mental health and well-
being. For example, we developed a 30-day fitness and mental health challenge, where each
day a new simple task is set to complete.

"We aim to encourage people to take small steps towards creating a more positive mindset. We hope that reading the posts would inspire people to exercise more frequently and take time for themselves which could significantly improve their headspace and mental and physical health”.

The second strand of the project to ‘Promoting Volunteering’ was developed to raise
awareness of goodwill in our communities.

Students Amy Bovaird, Alisha Cuskelly, Ella McAlary and Maria Soffe developed a project with the Donegal Volunteer Centre (DVC) called “Meet the Local Volunteers”. This project aims to recognise the great work volunteers do in our community and to also encourage others to get involved.

Local volunteers were interviewed by the students to find out what volunteering role they
perform, why they volunteer and what volunteering means to them. The interviews were
recorded and will be featured on the DVC website and social media.

Eamonn Bonner from DVC stated: “We were delighted to work alongside these enthusiastic and hardworking young ladies. Their project is guaranteed to bring a sense of pride to the volunteers byrecognising the great work they do. Volunteering can bring a sense of joy and passion into
someone’s life, greatly helping them improve their well-being. We believe that the project
will encourage and motivate others to get involved in helping improve their community”.

The students are currently taking part in an online editing course with Greg Gorman to
develop the skills to edit their videos. They are also working with Donna Kenny, Public
Relations Officer with Donegal Local Development Company (DLDC) to develop their public
relations skills so they can showcase the great work that they are achieving.

After the editing is completed the video recordings will be released on the DVC website and
Facebook page below.

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