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Transition Year students at Gaelcholáiste an Chláir completed a 24-hour fundraiser in aid of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) in Ennis over the weekend.

Each year, TY students organise an event in conjunction with a local charity. Covid-19 has impinged on the traditional sleep-out or collections typically organised by the school, explains TY Co-ordinator Martina McNamara, “poverty is chronic and twenty-four hours, so we said why don’t we run the shop for that length of time”.

On Friday, 16 students from class 4GC took over the store for a 24-hour period. Students were divided into groups of four, accompanied by teachers. Each group assisted Shop Manager James Dineen for a six-hour period in the running of the store.

Some of the duties included restocking the shop, sifting through donated goods, cleaning, stacking and pricing items. In addition, students laid out the shop in adherence to social distancing guidelines, wear masks and ensure that sanitisers are placed effectively throughout the store. Students brought baked goods and chocolate as well as offering tea and a chat to customers at a station within the store.

TY student Joy Hallahan commented, “I think there is a very important lesson behind all this. We are doing it for a very good cause, which is poverty. It’s something that is very bad all year round. Sometimes, it is very bad at Christmas.

“It’s important to emphasise that it’s all year round, not just around the festive times. I think we will definitely learn a lot from working with charities, by seeing how they and their volunteers’ work. It’s important to build social awareness and look at issues that are going around our community and the whole country as well. I’m really looking forward to it.”

A Go Fund Me page has been set up by Martina and the class, with the goal of raising €2000 for SVP. This support will provide many individuals and families in need with assistance, especially as we approach the Christmas season, Martina explains. The link to donate can be found on Gaelcholáiste an Chláir’s Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages.

Martina McNamara concludes with, “We would love to make it to €2,000. Both St Vincent de Paul and us, the 4GC Transition Year class at Gaelcholáiste an Chláir, would very much appreciate your help and support. Any donation is greatly appreciated and also, drop into the shop on the night for our 50% off all stock bonanza from midnight Friday the 4th of December 2020.”

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