Seamus Friel retired in August 2016 but soon found his skills in demand at the Down Syndrome Kerry ‘321 Charity Shop’ and Coffee Dock in Tralee. Seamus who is a trained electrician and worked for 16 years in maintenance at the Kostal factory in Abbeyfeale started helping out in the store in October of last year.
Seamus was put in contact with the shop with the help of the Kerry Volunteer Centre and hasn’t looked back since. He first learned about the services offered by Volunteer Centre while on a Career Planning course with Listowel Jobs Club and decided to take the plunge and call in. “I was doing a course in Listowel when a lady came in from the Kerry Volunteer Centre to give a talk, at the end she asked if anyone was interested in volunteering and it turned out I was,” Seamus recalled. The inspiration for volunteering came very close to home for the Ballybunion man: “I have three daughters who live in Dublin, Waterford and Clare. My daughter in Dublin does volunteering giving out meals to the homeless people there, so I suppose that’s what got me thinking seriously about it.”
For Seamus, like many volunteers retired or otherwise, giving their time gives a real sense of purpose, especially knowing they are giving back to their local communities. “The way I look at it, if you have the time then why not? Somebody has to do it and you will get a lot of satisfaction out of it” he suggested. Volunteering has also given him an outlet for his exceptional skills and experience: “When you retire people will be telling you that you’ll have loads of time on your hands, and it can be easy for some people to feel that they are not useful anymore. I’ve found that I am as busy as ever since retiring and I’m certainly not bored.” “Volunteering really does make you feel useful, I would recommend it to anyone,” he added. It’s about to get a lot busier for Seamus too. He is due to become a granddad in April, and with a second baby due in June, his baby sitting skills are likely to be in most demand.!
Feeling inspired by Seamus' Volunteering story ? Then why not call Geraldine Delaney at Kerry Volunteer Centre on 066 7117966 or find out here on our website how you too can get involved in volunteering locally on www.volunteerkerry.ie.