Among those using their newly found downtime in retirement to positively affect their local community is Bill Holland. He is living proof that volunteering in retirement keeps you active, interested and engaged with the world around you- especially when you are curt off from work colleagues and friends who are still caught up in the world of nine to five. “I’m a retired bloke living on my own, I have stacks of time and I wanted something to do that I’d enjoy but also did some good as well,” Bill explains. “There are a lot of people out there with busy jobs and families which could make it more difficult, but if you can find the time it is great experience,” he added.
With so many people choosing to locate and relocate back to Kerry for their retirement, volunteering is also a great way of integrating into local community and making new friends; as Mary Fitzgerald discovered when she return recently to her home town of Killarney. Similarly for John Turtington, who moved to Tralee from Dublin a number of years ago, volunteering in retirement has given him a new lease of life and made Kerry feel more like home. He has been involved in a range of projects over the last seven years from youth clubs and drama right through to his current involvement with University Hospital Kerry. He also teaches at the Adult Literacy Centre every Monday morning.
For all three of these retirees the key to successful volunteering is making the time and being able to say no when you have to- after all retirement is about doing what makes you happy. “I know the days I’ll be available, generally Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, so if a volunteering opportunity comes up in part of one of those days that suits me I will do it,” Mary explained. John agrees: “Just because I am retired doesn’t mean that I don’t have my own life to live. I have things I like to do, such as my garden and meeting my friends, and it’s important that I keep time for those as well”. “It’s about making volunteering work for you and your schedule,” he added.
Volunteering in your retirement is highly recommend and Kerry Volunteer Centre is at hand to support you to get involved in Volunteering locally. So do drop by the Kerry Volunteer Centre information stand at the Active over 50 plus Expo in Killarney on Sunday 7th at the Malton Hotel and Conference Centre in Killarney. You can also go online to www.volunteerkerry.ie or call Kerry Volunteer Centre on 066 7117966.