Cormac chose to begin volunteering to ‘try something different’. He used to play football but felt ‘It wasn’t really my thing’. Having decided to volunteer with the Irish Red Cross, Cromac immediately enjoyed it and has found that this type of volunteering activity suited his personality better. Cormac has found the different options of volunteering with the Irish Red Cross really rewarding both personally and professionally. He has progressed and developed into a variety of volunteer areas in the Irish Red Cross. Initially, he started off in the Youth section at age 15, at 18 he was promoted to a Youth Leader and during that time he was also an ambulance leader. Subsequently, Cormac was appointed to lead the Community Services Department of the Irish Red Cross which he finds very interesting.
Cormac told us that ‘the day-to-day management of the program can be a challenge but a great one! He explained that he ‘started off with no experience at all in first aid but I am now trained up in advanced cardiac response. There is also a nice social aspect to volunteering in the social care sector. I have personally learnt a lot from interacting with people in the community who might be feeling vulnerable. Witnessing personal development within someone is very rewarding. Supporting the elderly is really amazing. Some of the patients might have dementia, they might not recognise you from one week to the next, but even if they don’t know who you are, they know there is something nice about the visit. We interact with them, play games, music or take them out for a walk. It adds a different aspect to their day. They really enjoy it, but so do we!’
More recently Cormac has developed the Community Active Lifestyle Walking Group Programme to promote social inclusion and tackle certain health issues by offering a regular, easy to access walk programme supported by local Irish Red Cross Walk Leaders. Cormac’s volunteer efforts have not gone unnoticed. Last year Cormac was nominated in the Community category for Volunteer Ireland Awards and won.
Cormac has also volunteered with a number of other organisations including Southwest Motorsport Rescue Unit, Cycle Against Suicide, Killorglin Community First Responders, Comhairle na nÓg, Keel/Castlemaine Youth Club and Killorglin KDYS Neighbourhood Project.
Presently, Cormac is training up as a facilitator for the ‘Strengthening Families Programme’. Which supports at risk young people and their families, who might be dealing with distressing times in their life. The program helps them develop coping skills, social skills and management of stress. When Cormac things of three words to describe his experience of volunteering he thinks of ‘Community – Support - & Discovery’.
Feeling inspired by Cormac's #WhyIVolunteer story? Then why not click on this link to register your interest in Volunteering with Kerry Volunteer Centre toady!