Leeds Beckett students volunteer their time with charitable causes
10 January 2017 - Scarlett Armstrong
Eoin Murray, a PhD student in the School of Sport assisting the Cycle Against Suicide (CAS) campaign and BSc Adult Nursing student Dominic Rooney, supporting Yorkshire Aid, are just two Leeds Beckett students who are giving their time to causes that have personal significance to them.
Eoin Murray is volunteering with Cycle Against Suicide – an Irish charity that raises awareness about suicide prevention. Each year the charity organise a cycling event that spans the whole country, with the option for participants to cycle the whole route or individual sections. In the lead up to the event, a Student Leaders’ Congress will take place on 18 – 19 January at the University of Limerick. It brings together young adults, educators and mental health organisations to engage in project discussions, peer interviews and other awareness-raising activities.
As part of the event, Eoin will co-lead the physical activity section with Aaron Kyles whereby over 6,000 students across the two dates will have the opportunity to take part in a range of activities that complement this year’s congress theme “Share The Journey”. Physical activity bouts include The CAS dance where attendees will be awarded virtual kilometres and progress of "their journey" will be displayed on the 2017 route map.
Eoin has been heavily involved with raising awareness of the campaign as well as previously utilising his skills as a personal trainer to help participants prepare for the cycle.
In preparation for the congress Eoin says: “Unfortunately we all know someone who has lost their life to suicide and when I was 17, I lost a close friend to suicide. Thus, I wanted to help spread Cycle Against Suicide's message It’s OK not to feel OK; and it’s absolutely OK to ask for help.
“Volunteering at the Student Leaders' Congress is something that is very close to my heart. Co-leading the physical activity part of the event working with students, teachers and volunteers from all over Ireland is a fantastic opportunity to not just give something back but to genuinely be involved in promoting a greater discussion around mental health and help-seeking behaviour."
Having spent last summer volunteering in a refugee camp in Greece, Dominic was keen to continue supporting them upon his return. Dominic is now leading his own project to collect donations within the local area in partnership with Yorkshire Aid – a group of individuals and organisations working together to provide aid for refugees and asylum seekers in Leeds, Yorkshire and Europe.
Dominic commented: “The ongoing refugee crisis is a responsibility for all of us, to demonstrate our humanity to those who have lost everything. Donating your clothes is an effective and very direct way of doing your bit. Every little helps!"