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VOLUNTEER STORIES

'I have been volunteering in the Welcome Centre since September 2019. I help out in the kitchen on two mornings each week, helping to prepare food, wash dishes and generally clean and tidy up. The staff are friendly and supportive and do a great job. It can be very challenging for them.

 

I have always found the service users to be most appreciative and they would often say thank you for coming in to help us, and despite their many problems they are generally very friendly and can be good craic.

 

I was always fortunate in my life and was reared in a happy home and never wanted for anything. But I was always aware of people less fortunate in our society. It is so easy for anyone to fall on hard times and end up vulnerable and homeless and sadly all too common these days.

 

I worked full time as a Practice Manager in a doctor's surgery. Life was usually quite hectic. Since I retired I now have the time and opportunity to give a little back.

 

Volunteering is very worthwhile and I would certainly recommend it. I really enjoy my role and find it both rewarding and fulfilling. You meet and get to know lots of different people and even get to wear a cool T. Shirt. Makes you appreciate how lucky you are.'

SHEILA, KITCHEN VOLUNTEER

'I have been volunteering for around a year and a half, within The Welcome Organisation’s Floating Support Service. I support the staff when going into service user's homes, these service users have moved through the organisation and into their own tenancy.

 

I support them with their electric/gas top ups, help with shopping, tidying their homes, general support and most importantly a listening ear. I started volunteering due to my son going through serious psychosis and drug use, I wanted to give something back due to the support that my son and I were given at the time.

 

I find it very rewarding, humbling and to be honest it gives me a break from day-to-day stress. The staff are amazing, and the service users are grateful and appreciative of the services The Welcome Organisation provide.

 

Giving back to those in need is one of the most rewarding experiences - I would definitely recommend people to get involved in volunteering with The Welcome Organisation as it has changed by life, BIG TIME!'

MARY, FLOATING SUPPORT VOLUNTEER

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'My name is Thèrèse and I have been volunteering in the Welcome Centre from June 2018. I initially joined because I had a very serious, life-threatening illness in 2014, which I miraculously recovered from. I simply wanted to give something back, I had promised myself this when I was ill.

 

In the 90s, I had worked for 6 years in the samaritans, and I decided to do something different. I heard about the Welcome and applied. I absolutely love working here, and I gravitated to the kitchen. It is the centre of the place, not literally, but definitely the place where people open up and share worries and their lives with you. I feel very privileged to be in that position, and I feel very strongly about giving them time and dignity to express themselves and to know we are all equal and the same.

What I didn't expect was to feel how much I get out of it, too, as that was never important.

 

I am glad I have the health and time to volunteer and would encourage anyone to do the same, it is a great leveller.'

THERESE, KITCHEN VOLUNTEER

'I've been volunteering with the Welcome now for a few months and I am blown away with regards to the crucial support and patience shown to the vulnerable people on our own doorsteps, classed as "homeless" or "rough sleepers"

As a volunteer I'm usually in the kitchen, and also the busy staff kindly encourage and take time to give me experience of engaging with service users in the Centre. It's very easy to build a rapport with them, whether it involves taking time for a chat, or something as simple as getting someone a glass of water! All the things many of us take for granted...

I have gotten to know many interesting and genuine people, with kind hearts and souls. As an addict in recovery, with experience of homelessness and sleeping rough myself, the Welcome has given me amazing encouragement to get involved, and doing 3 shifts a week provides much needed structure to my own life.

I have very much felt my self worth grow, and I am inspired to learn and go further.I had heard bits and pieces about the organisation, enough to know that it was a place that I wanted to get involved with and, after several years volunteering with various other charities I have finally been "Welcomed" in by my volunteer co-ordinator! Anyone with the time and empathy could benefit from volunteering with these guys!!'

CHERYL, KITCHEN VOLUNTEER

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'I started volunteering in The Welcome Organisation around March 2018, it followed on from a sleep out I did to raise awareness of homelessness in Ireland. I felt that while that was good to do I wanted to do something more productive .

 

I started my role as a kitchen volunteer and have been there ever since. At times it’s like all duck or no dinner in the kitchen and definitely a few loaves and fishes evenings have been had.

I find the service users generally very appreciative but of course there have been occasions when the dinners haven’t been to someone’s liking. I always think that it’s nothing to do with the dinner and there’s clearly many other things at play.

 

Over the past 6 years I have seen a lot of people come and go but if anything the needs are greater, more complex and more pressing. I’m always amazed at the skills the staff use to defuse volatile situations and how they cope in a very stressful and difficult environment.

 

That being said I really enjoy volunteering with The Welcome Organisation and helping out in some small way and would most definitely encourage people to volunteer in which ever capacity suits their skill set.'

PAUL, KITCHEN VOLUNTEER

'I started volunteering in The Welcome Organisation around March 2018, it followed on from a sleep out I did to raise awareness of homelessness in Ireland. I felt that while that was good to do I wanted to do something more productive .

 

I started my role as a kitchen volunteer and have been there ever since. At times it’s like all duck or no dinner in the kitchen and definitely a few loaves and fishes evenings have been had.

I find the service users generally very appreciative but of course there have been occasions when the dinners haven’t been to someone’s liking. I always think that it’s nothing to do with the dinner and there’s clearly many other things at play.

 

Over the past 6 years I have seen a lot of people come and go but if anything the needs are greater, more complex and more pressing. I’m always amazed at the skills the staff use to defuse volatile situations and how they cope in a very stressful and difficult environment.

 

That being said I really enjoy volunteering with The Welcome Organisation and helping out in some small way and would most definitely encourage people to volunteer in which ever capacity suits their skill set.'

DIANE, CATHERINE HOUSE VOLUNTEER

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