By Mark Lynch
NUI Galway Students’ Union will be supporting AIDS West and Domestic Violence Response this academic year, 2019/2020. Every year, the Students’ Union selects two charities that benefit from its fundraising initiatives. Last year, students took part in cake sales, table quizzes, a Christmas jumper party, comedy gigs, pet farm visits and collection days to raise €11,500. The Galway Rape Crisis Centre and COPE Galway were last year’s two nominated charities.
Students’ Union President Clare Austick stated, “We are delighted to be supporting two very worthy charities this year. Students in NUI Galway have a very proud tradition of fundraising for charity. We hope to improve on last year’s total of €11,500 raised during the year”.
AIDS West offer the highest quality care and support to those affected by HIV/AIDS/STIs and to those worried about their sexual health. Joe McDonagh of AIDS West expressed his delight at the Students’ Union choosing this charity to benefit from its fundraising. “AIDS West (soon to be renamed Sexual Health West) are delighted to have been chosen as a nominated charity by the Students’ Union, and that the importance of our essential work supporting students to maintain their sexual health has been recognised”.
He added, “New diagnoses of STI’s & HIV continue to rise in Ireland, with recent figures demonstrating a 66% increase in new cases of syphilis, an 18% increase in new cases of chlamydia, a 29% increase in new diagnoses of gonorrhoea, a 4% increase in herpes and a further 4% increase in new diagnoses of HIV. We are looking forward to further developing our work with students in NUI Galway“.
Domestic Violence Response are a community led organisation responding to the issue of domestic abuse in County Galway. Elizabeth Power of Domestic Violence Response commented, “We are delighted to be one of the NUI Galway Students’ Union nominated charities. Fundraising enables us to provide a vital lifeline for women to deal with the impact of violence and abuse in their daily lives. The money raised will ensure we can continue to provide a range of supports for women in a non-judgemental, welcoming and safe way”.