Sylvia Thompson is an extremely active and enthusiastic volunteer’ admitting that “I can volunteer up to six days a week depending on what is ongoing. There is always a lot going on. I am retired officially but I like meeting people I enjoy it all, I only volunteer in what I enjoy to do,” Sylvia remarked.
Sylvia has been volunteering with and involved in social justice issues since 1971, when as a schoolgirl she joined Pax Christi International. When the Kerry Diocesan Justice, Peace and Creation Committee was formed ahead of the year 2000 she was working with young people to raise awareness of 'The Troubles', organising regular exchanges between Tralee and Northern Ireland- she was a natural choice as PRO then and now.
The eye-catching 7ft walk-in UN Gift Box recently set up outside Manor West Shopping Centre is just one of many regular and once off events organised by Sylvia and the other 7 members of the Justice, Peace and Creation Committee during the year. Sylvia has nothing but praise for the many volunteers who went above and beyond to make the Gift Box visit a real success. Having contacted Kerry Volunteer Centre for volunteers “we got a great response. We gave training before it, to give information to our volunteers about human trafficking and also their role as a volunteer” Sylvia explained.
The Kerry Diocesan Justice, Peace and Creation Committee is just one of the many volunteering opportunities that Sylvia enjoys regularly. Just recently she was busy bag packing with the Tralee International Resource Centre (TIRC), she also volunteers part time as a speech therapist, with Transition Kerry and as an English Teacher.
Her advice for people thinking about Volunteering is to go ahead and embrace it and “If you are volunteering you should be happy about the cause you are volunteering for, and be able to give information around it- you never know when someone will ask you about it. There are so many reasons to volunteer: you will learn about topics, gain new friends, you can get to know another part of the county or the town. Maybe you will earn new skills, like IT or time keeping. Really you learn a lot, I would recommend it to anyone,” she concluded.
To find out how you can get involved in voluntering locally call Kerry Volunteer Centre on 066 7117966 or check out all the available volunteering opportunitoes on www.volunteerkerry.ie today.