Volunteers' lives are enhanced - McAreavey
John McAreavey has told young people how volunteering generates great benefits and helps them to make new friends.
The former Down GAA star, speaking at the Zeminar youth event at the RDS in Dublin, said people who volunteered with The Michaela Foundation found their own lives and careers had been enhanced by their participation with the charity.
Mr McAreavey co-founded the charity in honour of his wife, Michaela, who was murdered when the couple were on honeymoon in Mauritius in 2011. He recently re-married.
Doing volunteer work for good causes is "far from a drag" and can lead to "true happiness" by helping a worthy cause, he said.
Fair City actress Jenny Dixon advised young people to dedicate themselves to pursuing their passions.
Before becoming an actress, she was a secondary school teacher.
In college, she took first place and first-class honours in her science degree finals.
Dr Rhona Mahony, Master of the National Maternity Hos-pital, told the young audience to "go for it" when seeking their goals and not to be afraid of failure.
All achievements were gained through adversity and young people need to have courage, she said.
Feidhlim O Seasnain, programme manager of The Super Generation, spoke of the Way of Well-Being Programme devised by John Doran.
It was very important that young people express themselves and have "an attitude of gratitude" to counteract negativity, he said.
"Proper nourishment and rest are important and young people should devote time to building on their strengths."
Zeminar founders Damien Clarke and Ian Fitzpatrick said 15,000 young people attended over three days.