The Pope John Paul II Award and students in our community.

The Pope John Paul II Award is a program dedicated to the memory of the late Pope. It encourages students in their local community to volunteer in activities that will benefit their parish or community in general. More details on the award can be found here.

Over the past weeks we have had several students help out in Dalton House as part of the award. Below are accounts from 2 of them.

Kelly Brett, Katie Quinlan and Seán Carey, who are all volunteering at Dalton House.

Firstly Kelly Brett, who volunteered for 10 nights;

Transition year is said to be a year for trying new things and enjoying yourself at the same time. When I first heard about the John Paul the Second Award I can honestly say that I was not sure what to expect mainly because I did not know where to go about doing it! I asked my Religion teacher about it and she explained how the forms were to be filled out, where to go about completing the requirements and how to get the activities done on time. I asked around Gowran and soon found out that Nellie Brett was manager of Dalton House retirement home. I called to Nellie’s house and asked if she could possibly help me out with my reward, she said that she would most certainly help me out especially since you couldn’t leave a Brett stuck! 

Nellie was very helpful and together we decided on a day that would suit us both to go to the retirement home, we decided that I would help out at Dalton House’s annual Christmas party. I still didn’t know what to expect when I arrived the night of the Christmas party, I thought I would be just clearing tables but I was very wrong. Nellie welcomed me and introduced me to both the other volunteers and the members of the retirement home, everyone was so nice and friendly I felt at ease there right away. I asked each person if they would like a beverage or something to eat. Another thing that caught my eye when I arrived was the homemade cakes and buns made by Nellie, needless to say they were gone in a flash! After the food had been eaten, the band arrived to entertain everybody for the rest of the night. They played traditional songs that everybody knew making it easy to hum along. The band also gave everyone the opportunity to sing if they wanted, it was great listening to different members of the community singing along with the band.

Once the food was finished I cleared the tables and washed the dishes. Father Dalton, our parish priest, was very friendly and spoke to me about my thoughts on the Award and explained why he felt it was such a good idea for young people to do something worthwhile for the community. The main aim of the John Paul the Second Award is for young people to get involved in their parish in some way, I am glad that I did this because I got an insight into what volunteers do in my community. I feel that after doing this I would do volunteer work in the future.

All in all I really enjoyed my time at Dalton House retirement home and it is blatantly obvious why the members of the retirement home love Wednesday nights, Nellie has really went above and beyond to make these people enjoy themselves. Dalton House seems to be a home away from home for those people.

Kelly Brett.

…and here’s Katie Quinlan’s piece on her participation, Katie has volunteered for 20 week with us.

I heard about Dalton House from the local newsletter and was very interested in getting involved. I am a Loreto student doing the John Paul Award which is an award that involves doing activities under the headings social awareness and Parish involvement. I’m in the process of doing the Gold Award that involves 1 hour per week for 20 weeks in Dalton House.

The John Paul Award is dedicated to the memory of the Pope John Paul who’s love for young people was indescribable. It enables me to become more actively involved in my community and Parish. It is not just a feeling of personal achievement but will help to show future employers and educators that I am a young person who can make an ongoing commitment to a task.

I go to Dalton house every Wednesday evening. I assist the elderly as I hand out refreshment hoping the senior citizens get the best possible outcome they can out of the night, as different musicians play traditional music to all persons on the night. It is a great opportunity for all elderly in the parish to come together to interact with other people.

Dalton House has a wide range of facilities and services that are available to everyone in the parish and has a friendly and tranquil atmosphere that welcomes everyone. I would recommend Dalton House not only to senior citizens but any adults to come down for great company and entertainment on a Wednesday night.

Katie Quinlan.

Our thanks to all the students who volunteer under the Pope John Paul Award.



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