The Award was created to commemorate the late Pope John Paul II, who was so committed to young people and who had such belief and confidence in them being able to contibute greatly to the Church and to the world.
It gives young people an opportunity to challenge themselves, by volunteering in new capacities within their society, schools and parish life. By accomplishing so many activities in both the Parish and the Community sectors, they are then accredited with the Award, which is now highly regarded and can also demonstrate the student's sense of commitment and generous service in UCAS and other applications for further studies and work.
Who is the Award for?
The Award is offered specifically for Year 13 students. At present, there are hundreds of students studying for this Award across the Diocese, overseen by the Living Youth Office. Please note that the Award is offered in some of our Catholic secondary-level schools. Any parishioners of this age may consider applying through their school or through Larne Parish itself. You can only register through one, though you will be able to gain credit for volunteering in school or in the parish either way.
What sort of volunteering would I need to do?
To achieve the Gold Award, you are required to complete 20 activities of social awareness and 20 activities in the parish. Some of these can also be accomplished in school. These may include:
Volunteering in a charity shop
Fundraising for charitable causes
Helping at a nursing home
Working with St Vincent de Paul
Volunteering with a Youth Club / Sports club
Peer mentoring / buddying
Helping to run the GIFT programme for our younger parishioners
Reading at mass / acting as Eucharistic Minister
Helping organise a liturgy (such as the Stations of the Cross)
Playing music at mass
Greeting parishioners at the door / passing out missalettes
Helping with the teas and coffees after certain masses
Students cannot use more than six activities of the same type for their credits. They may also use certain things, like residential pilgrimages (e.g. the Lourdes Youth Team) to accomplish six credits at once.
What is the time frame?
The Award is completed over a fourteen-month period, though students are welcome to complete the activities at whatever pace they wish, taking account of exam periods etc. There is a final report to complete at the end of this time.
How do I apply?
If you would like to apply through the parish, we would like to have you registered by Sunday 22nd October. Please do this by making contact with Fr Conor, either in person or through the Parochial House. When we know how many are hoping to register, we will be able to call a meeting to help get everyone started. There will be an 'Award Leader' (Fr Conor ad interim) who will be able to guide the students through the process and ensure everything runs smoothly.
Registration costs £15 per person.
If you have any further queries, please speak to Fr Conor and he will be very happy to help. This is a great opportunity for our young people to become more involved in the parish and the community, which lays great foundations for the people we wish to become.