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Doing time on criminal justice

timetogive_01Students at the UCD Quinn School of Business were asked last Wednesday: Do you have time to give to others? They turned up for a talk on the value of volunteering, hosted by the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice and the UCD Service Learning Programme. The talk, entitled ‘Give Your Time, Use Your Skills, Change Your Perspective’, also marked the college launch of the Jesuit Centre’s new volunteering guidebook publication, Time To Give? Volunteering Opportunities in the Criminal Justice Area. Fr Peter McVerry SJ was the keynote speaker. The guidebook was produced with help from a number of UCD student volunteers, as well as interns at the Centre, and aims to highlight the variety of volunteering opportunities available within organisations working in the area of criminal justice, including Women’s Aid, The Society of St. Vincent DePaul, Business in the Community Ireland and Foróige. See photos here.

The official photographic launch of the publication took place the previous week in the Iveagh Gardens. Pat Carey T.D., Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs joined JCFJ intern Louise Gallagher dressed as ‘Lady Justice’, and a host of volunteers, including college students and active retired volunteers for a series of memorable photographs. The Minister noted following the launch that ‘Volunteering in Ireland provides extensive support to local communities and is very rewarding to all involved.’ He went on to say, ‘there is a substantial infrastructure in Ireland to promote and support volunteers with 22 Volunteer Centres throughout the Country. They will be key to the success of 2011 which is the European Year of Volunteering.’

Speaking to the UCD students, Peter McVerry S.J. highlighted the enormous benefits of volunteering: ‘By giving your time, by volunteering, you are affirming the value of that person and therefore enhancing their dignity’. Emphasising the value of giving your time, talents and skills to those who need them, McVerry said, ‘nevertheless volunteers also receive much from those with whom they are working. Some say that they have received far more than they have given.’ Dr. Michael MacDonnell, Director of the Quinn School of Business, also spoke to students about the importance of engaging in socially responsible activities as a student: ‘Students of all disciplines, including Business, have the opportunity to take modules with the UCD Service Learning Programme where they can volunteer with charities and not for profit organisations.’

The Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice has also recently joined Facebook. Become a fan of their page to access some photos from the launches as well as future updates on everything that’s going on at the Centre (www.facebook.com/jcfj.ie).

Further information about the guidebook can be accessed at www.timetogive.ie.