Business and education join forces in new partnership

At the presentation of awards at Scoil Ruain, Killenaule, were Deirdre McGrath (Camida), Rebecca OGorman (Student of the Year), Kevin Hickey (Academic Scholarship Award), and  Maurice Healy (Healy Group, and a member of the Camida board.
A Clonmel business and a Killenaule school have joined forces in a new business and educational initiative.

A Clonmel business and a Killenaule school have joined forces in a new business and educational initiative.

The partnership is between Camida, a bespoke chemical sourcing and distribution company established in Clonmel 26 years ago, and Scoil Ruain.

And a highlight in the past week was the presentation of student of the year awards at the school.

In 2013 Camida introduced its first ever Community Liaison Officer, Alice O’Regan, who works in this role alongside her role in the sourcing department. Throughout the years Camida has contributed to the community but in 2013 it was decided to make community involvement more official and give something back to the town and the surrounding areas. One aspect of Camida’s community involvement is the partnership with Scoil Ruáin in Killenaule which began in September 2013.

During the summer Camida’s MD David Anchell encountered some of the transition year students from the school. Impressed with their manners, and looking for new ways for Camida to get involved with the community, he was keen to work with the school.

Coincidentally some of those who work in Camida are past pupils of Scoil Ruáin and have children who are currently attending the school or will be in the future. That September David and Alice met with the principal Gerry McGill to discuss the ways Camida could get involved.

Camida works with Scoil Ruáin in various ways, including informative talks on various topics. Mr Anchell has given the 5th and 6th year business students a presentation on starting up and running a business, helping them to understand the basics of how a business operates and going through all of the various departments and employment opportunities within a company.

Lisa Daniels, Sourcing and Regulatory Manager, gave a talk on the pharmaceutical sector in Ireland to the 5th and 6th year Physics students.

As part of the LCVP programme, students are required to prepare a portfolio with several items regarding preparation for the world of work, including a recorded interview. Camida has organised a presentation on interview skills for the LCVP class in conjunction with Morgan McKinley in preparation for their interviews.

As part of the transition year programme and LCVP class, students are required to do a week of work experience. Camida has hosted two students for their placement.

Camida sponsors Scoil Ruáin’s Junior Cycle Hurling Scholarship. The scholarship includes expert weekly hurling coaching, training gear, advice on nutrition and diet, free after school study and free school books for each year of the scholarship.

Camida also sponsors both the Attendance and the Student of the Year awards, which are awarded at the end of each academic year. For the Attendance Award a student is selected at random from those who have not missed a day of school during the year. The Student of the Year is selected by the teachers and is based on their contribution to the school and their achievements from enrolment through to 6th Year. The 2014/2015 Student of the Year was awarded to Rebecca O’Gorman.

The company also provides a 3rd Level Academic Scholarship to a Leaving Certificate student. Students submit applications and are shortlisted to three with Deirdre McGrath, company secretary, on the interview panel for the final stage. The 2015 scholarship was awarded to Kevin Hickey who is hoping to study primary school teaching.

Camida’s community involvement is not about generating more business. Its involvement with Scoil Ruáin provides it with the opportunity to get to know the future workforce in the area, as well as generating goodwill in the community. It continues to support the school for the 2015-2016 academic year along and it is hoped that its involvement will continue into the future.