Charity work undertaken by the school community is organised through our own branch of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is the largest, voluntary, charitable organisation in Ireland. Its membership of 9,500 volunteers throughout the country are supported by professional staff, working for social justice and the creation of a more just, caring nation. This network of social concern gives practical support to those experiencing poverty and social exclusion, by providing a wide range of services to people in need. Visit their website here: http://www.svp.ie/Home.aspx
There are currently two conferences of the SVP in Castleknock College; The Fr. John Doyle CM Conference (Transition Year) and the Fifth Year Conference. Membership is voluntary and currently stands at 31 student members in the TY conference and 18 student members in the Fifth Year conference.
Volunteers in the TY conference participate in a Community Outreach Programme whereby they engage in weekly visits to the following centres:
- St. Joseph’s, Clonsilla.
- St. Vincent’s, Navan Road.
- St. Michael’s, Glenmaroon.
- St. Peter’s Luncheon Club, Phibsboro.
- Cherry Orchard Hospital Alzheimer’s Unit.
These visits last a minimum of two hours during which time the student volunteers participate in a variety of activities with the service users that include sporting activities, art and music therapy, academic assistance to pupils and serving meals to the service users of the various centres. Through their positive involvement in such pursuits the student volunteers develop a deeper appreciation for the core Vincentian values of the SVP as well of Castleknock College.
Furthermore, the TY and Fifth Year conferences host annual Halloween and Christmas parties in the College for students of St. Michael’s, Glenmaroon and service users of St. Joseph’s, Clonsilla.
- The Annual SVP Christmas Tree Sale raises funds for SVP conferences in the Dublin 15 area as well as for the costs of the activities of the College conferences.
- An annual SVP Christmas Food Appeal provides food hampers for the St. Brigid’s SVP conference in Mulhuddart.
- A Castleknock College Recipe Book is to be launched at Easter 2011 with all proceeds being donated to the SVP.
Young Vincentian Mission to Ethiopia
Inaugurated in 2008, the Young Vincentian Mission offers Fifth Year students an opportunity to spend 2-3 weeks working and living with the Vincentian community in Ambo, Ethiopia each July.
The venture is overseen by the Vincentian Lay Missionaries (VLM) who interview student applicants for the ‘Summer Immersion’ work. Successful applicants engage in a range of voluntary work in Ambo including teaching in the local Vincentian school, working in the Vincentian Food Programme, the Vincentian School for the Deaf and coaching Ambo United FC.
Students are required to raise sufficient funds to meet their travel and subsistence expenses and events are organised within and without the College to raise funds for the Castleknock College Development Programme in Ambo. This Development Programme has enabled the construction of expanded education facilities as well as the provision of medical and food supplies to those who wish to avail of the aid provided by the Vincentian community in Ambo.
The Young Vincentian Mission is coordinated by the College Chaplain, Fr. John Gallagher CM and a team of volunteers from the teaching staff.