NUI Galway student nurses raise over €2,000 for homeless

(L-R) Roisin Mc Mahon from Clare, Tara Slattery from Kilcolgan, Hannah O’Donnell from Letterkenny, Rachel Darcy Loughrea, Ciarán Freeman from Cabra, Jenny O’Neill from Clare.

Student nurses at NUI Galway have put their best feet forward and raised more than €2,000 for homeless services after clocking more than 500km on the roads.

The annual fundraising drive is held every year by second years in the School of Nursing and Midwifery as they undertake a module on Community Care.

The students chose Galway Simon Community as their charity this year after students attended a guest lecture given by Amy Lavelle and Brian Hickey from the local homeless service.

(L-R) Hannah O’Donnell from Letterkenny, Rachel Darcy from Loughrea, Tara Slattery from Kilcolgan, Meabh Keys from Letterkenny (holding sign).

“Our student nurses got to hear first-hand about the impact the pandemic had on fundraising opportunities and the growing number of people in need of support services offered by the Galway Simon Community,” said Catherine Meagher, lecturer at the NUI Galway School of Nursing and Midwifery. “They wanted to do something to help.”

The student nurses are all attending University remotely but despite that, they organised a 500km fundraising initiative with each student individually walking, jogging or running a distance within their 5km travel limit.

The campaign raised more than €2,000, which has been donated to Galway Simon Community.

Amy Lavelle, Galway Simon Community, said that they are deeply grateful to have been the chosen charity for this wonderful initiative.

“We can’t thank the students and lecturer Catherine Meagher enough for all that they did to make it possible,” said Amy.

“Their motivation to raise funds in support of those facing homelessness in these difficult times was truly inspiring and their compassion will go a long way in their future careers.

“Covid-19 continues to pose enormous challenges across our services and our ability to raise funds is set to be massively impacted again this year. We truly have never been more reliant on fundraised support like this.”