Volunteering and Student Led Engagement at LIT

Volunteering (VL)

1. Fundraising - Over the course of 2010 / 2011, BA in Administrative Management & Sport students, as part of their Learner Development and Study skills module raised over €15,000 for the following charities:

- Oncology Ward
- Letterkenny Hospital
- Donegal Hospice
- Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital
- SVP/Special Olympics
- Focus Ireland
- Marie Keating Foundation
- Autism Ireland
- Make a Wish foundation 
- Twin Towns Boxing Club

Students had to come up with novel fund raising ideas for a charity of their choice, including outlining their reasons for choosing the charity. They worked together to put their ideas into practice, which included: planning, organising, co-ordinating activities and achieving the final goal of the project. They only had 5 weeks to implement their plans. This was all carried out throughout a busy schedule of lectures and study. Many of these students selected charities where they had had first-hand experience through family and friends.

Student-led engagement (SLE)

Student Led Engagement
1. Civic and Community Engagement Module - Learners have been given the opportunity to choose this module in the second year of their degree course. This was included in the new programmes in 2013 so we have just completed the first allocation of learners through this module. The Learning Objectives for the Civic Engagement Module are to promote a spirit of civic and community engagement and responsibility in the learner. They have the opportunity to come up with an issue that they feel is important within their community and to tackle that issue. After a lot of consultation and reflection the learners of 2013 decided to challenge the awareness of other learners and staff within the college on the issue of giving blood. This came about from the issue of road traffic deaths in Donegal and this linked into the importance of giving blood. There was also a blood awareness campaign being run by the Irish Blood Transfusion Service at the time - The Blood Buddies Campaign. Learners came up with two objectives for the campaign:
- To increase awareness on Blood Donation among the students and staff of LYIT
- To have a Blood Transfusion day in the college by the IBTS

The IBTS engaged with the whole project and it was deemed a great success by both the Learners and the IBTS. The level of blood donation awareness was researched by the students. This information was passed on to the IBTS who sent two representatives to engage with the learners and together they came up with a blood awareness campaign within the college which coincided with the Blood Donation Clinic in Letterkenny on that week.

The college management and learners then entered into talks with IBTS on the feasibility of bringing the Blood Clinic to the LYIT. It is hoped that this will take place in 2014 and that the current Civic Engagement learners and the 2013 class will complete objective two and collaborate with the IBTS into the future.

This year, which is the second year of the teaching of this module, sees an expansion to include the Student’s Union and local community groups (Simon Community) to engage with the learners and it is intended that there will be an increase in the interest in the module year on year. Uptake in 2013 was twenty students and it is available as an elective across a number of programmes within the School of Business. It is also being rolled out in other Schools within LYIT. It has been a very positive experience for the learners and staff have been very encouraging and active in promoting it.
2. 2nd year Animation and Digital Media students have a work placement module where they will go into a school 1 day a week for 6 weeks and work with a group of school children to develop an idea for and produce the film. The students in groups of 3 will act as mentors, assisting the children in the production.

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