Clonmelman Matthew Norris helping the poor of Albania

Matthew Norris (centre) with Fr.Celsius and Paddy Ryan, a Ballycahill volunteer.
A Clonmelman has volunteered his own time to support the poorest of the poor in a remote corner of Europe.

A Clonmelman has volunteered his own time to support the poorest of the poor in a remote corner of Europe.

Matthew Norris, a learner of Clonmel Youth Training Enterprises, worked on construction projects in Albania towards the end of last year.

Matthew is currently studying catering support in the training centre at Sli Nua at The Wilderness, Clonmel.

Yet in the midst of his busy training schedule he spent a week completing construction projects in Elboson, Milot and Puk.

With the support of Christian Ely, the centre’s woodwork instructor, 25 other volunteers and the Heart to Hand charity, together they completed two churches and a two-room extension to a school.

“It was a life changing experience and an eye opener to the way we live back home”, said Matthew.

Matthew is son of Pamela and James Norris, Bianconi Drive, Clonmel.

Heart to Hand has been travelling to Albania for the past 9 years and has built churches, houses, renovated schools and completed other projects. It is a registered, not-for-profit charity.

Their care consists of providing food, medicine, clothes and other forms of humanitarian aid.

In latter years education and training schemes to help these people fend for themselves have also been launched. This charity is non-denominational and voluntary.

Without the help and generosity of the Irish people, including Christian Ely and Matthew Norris, the charity could not survive.

It also operates in Bosnia, Moldova, Romania and other countries where the need arises.

There are no directors fees, administration fees, top-ups or pensions.

The charity states that all members of Heart To Hand are volunteers and receive no payments.

Further information is available on the website

Clonmel Youth Training Enterprises acknowledges Matthew and Christian’s hard work and commitment to this exceptionally worthy cause.