- When did you start volunteering with Dublin Simon Community?
I began my volunteering with Dublin Simon community in September 2018.
- What made you want to start volunteering?
Firstly, I choose to volunteer because it was an opportunity for me to develop and learn new skills. Doing this has allowed me to explore an area of interest which I was considering as a future career choice. Being a psychology student, volunteering has allowed me to build upon existing experience and knowledge that I have on issues surrounding homelessness and mental health. I feel very passionate about the work of the Simon Community, specifically their work in Dublin. I knew that all the hard work would be worth it because of this.
- What’s your favourite part of volunteering?
My favourite part of volunteering is gaining insightful, real-world experiences of homelessness. I volunteer currently in the Recovery service within Dublin Simon and I love being able to see the difference in people when they first enter recovery to when they are leaving; whether that’s on to another recovery house or independent living. It is great getting to know everyone individually and building relationships with them, listening to their story and see how far they have come or developed as people. It really is amazing!!
- Describe a (any) positive memory that you have from volunteering with Dublin Simon Community?
I actually have lots of positive memories but I especially love the community days. I have taken part in the DSC 5 mile run twice this year, which was a lot of fun and brings everyone together whilst raising money for the charity and awareness of homelessness. Lovely Day all around!!
- What would you say to someone who is thinking of volunteering with Dublin Simon Community?
I definitely would encourage anyone thinking of volunteering within Dublin Simon Community to go for it! You will be volunteering alongside a mix of personalities, faced with daily problems and will most likely be adjusting to life outside of your comfort zone. All of this helps you develop as a person, learning lots about the world we live in and providing you with lifelong skills and training. I have found my role as a volunteer is very rewarding and I have a great sense of gratitude. I am motivated every day by being able to walk out of work with a smile on my face, knowing that I have contributed positively to someone’s day. Whether that’s simply chatting to someone over a cup of tea, accompanying them to an appointment or just being someone there to listen.
- Do you have any plans or goals for 2019 while volunteering with Dublin Simon Community?
My main goal is to make the most of my year here with Dublin Simon Community before heading back to University. There are so many opportunities! I would like to visit some of the other services and expand my knowledge on homelessness and take part in any fundraising or events DSC organise because they are always a lot of fun!
- Do you have anything that you’re looking forward to for the rest of the year?
Yes, I am finishing up my volunteering in the DSC Recovery at the start of July and then becoming a volunteer in Carmen’s hall, one of the STA’s. I will then be heading back to university to finish my Psychology degree. I am very enthusiastic about the change and to learn more about different services within Dublin Simon. It’s very exciting!!