Vita started volunteering over 8 years ago. She first volunteered with Aware as a support group facilitator for 3 years. These support groups are for individuals (or in some cases, relatives) who have experience of depression/anxiety, bipolar or related mood disorders. Vita really enjoyed this volunteer role as she possesses the enthusiasm and passion for the area of mental health. She also felt, she gained great experience and enhanced her facilitation skills.
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.
The third #WhyIVolunteer story we will share with you as part of our National Volunteering Week program is Rebecca's. Kerry Volunteer Centre met Rebecca at an outreach student event in Tralee Institute of Technology. As a Social Care student, she felt it was important to develop professional links and gain experience within the sector before she qualifies. Thus she registered with Kerry Volunteer Centre and with the support of the Placement Team is now Volunteering!
Volunteering can positively change peoples' lives, at a very early age this fact was understood by Seán who shares his story as part of Kerry Volunteer Centre's National Volunteering Week #WhyIVolunteer initiative. Seán grew up in Mayo where his mother owned a small grocery shop which became the centre and heart of the local community. Sean recalled her as his inspiration for volunteering ‘my mother set a positive example, that giving back within your community, by giving your time, does so much to help those in need and contributes to the common good.’
At Kerry Volunteer Centre we often get asked ‘Can I volunteer if I am under 18?’ While some opportunities will be restricted to you as a minor, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t any ways for you to get involved, Jude's story testifies to this!
Jude is 15 years old and is currently studying for his Junior Cert and started volunteering at the age of 12. He is actively volunteering with the support of the Volunteer Centre's Placemnet Team ( Linda, Terry and Siobhan) and regrets not starting younger. ‘I had a misconception that you can only volunteer from maybe 16 or 18, however, I’ve realise now there are so many youth-based volunteering opportunities.’ Jude first started volunteering with Adapt Charity shop, he enjoyed this experience as he was exposed to stock taking, working on the tills, team work, meeting new people and built upon his communication skills, which in turn, enhanced his own confidence.
As part of National Volunteering Week 2019 Kerry Volunteer Centre will share with you the faces and stories of eight local Volunteers. Each story is unique and reflects the wide variety of reasons as to why people are choosing to volunteer in Kerry. We very much appreciate the openness and generosity by which each of the Volunteers shared their personal story and experiences. Dorcas' storys is the first we shall share with you!
Volunteering is an intrinsic part of Irish life. National Volunteering Week provides an annual platform to thank Volunteers, invest in their wellbeing, share their stories and recognise the impact they have on organisations and communities across Kerry. As such, Kerry Volunteer Centre is hosting a fabulous series of free events on National Volunteering week from the 13th – 19th May at its Tralee offices. These include: