#Why I volunteer- Sharon Cottor

Why did I start volunteering?

I wanted to sense a feel good factor within myself, as I hadn’t worked in a long time, this proved to be extremely difficult to go back into the workforce again. This was a major challenge.

Another factor was routine, as I hadn’t had a proper routine in a long time, it was tough going. Giving myself a structure every day was very hard. I had to start getting up in the morning and that was a nightmare and still is!

Also mixing with people was a real challenge for me as it has been years which I haven’t worked, so that was quite hard to, but the people in Dublin City Volunteer Centre are very warm and welcoming!

Then another factor of giving to people, so giving my help to the volunteer centre was another reason to volunteer.

What was your first position as a volunteer and what is it now?

My first position was admin work as well and I learned all my skills and progress within the organisation. It was great fun – getting to know people and improving on my interpersonal skills and practical skills. My current position in the volunteer centre is a database administrator and I really enjoy it, but it can be challenging at times in relation to my motivation and confidence skills. They can lack a lot, but I still push myself.

What have I learnt from volunteering?

I have learned a lot about the Dublin Volunteer Centre – what they do and the activities that they run throughout the year. They are a very friendly group of people and I couldn’t have asked for a friendlier group of people. I have learned also about the work that they do and at the moment I’m entering details on their database of all the volunteers which have been registered and placed or not. I like doing this as I learn from this information and it keeps me busy which I enjoy as well! The Centre are giving me different tasks to do as well so it’s not too tedious. I have even asked in the long run if I could work on the phones too, but this hasn’t been discussed in too much detail. Also, up for discussion are more days to work within the Volunteer Centre, so we will wait and see.

What is your best memory as a volunteer?

My best memory was just working among a friendly group of people and just being socially active. I had been spending too much time on my own and I felt isolated, so then I knew it was time to do something with myself and it was to volunteer.

What is the most difficult part about volunteering?

The most difficult part of volunteering for me was and is still mixing with people. I have been out of the social scene for years and I still find it hard to make an effort to talk to people, but it’s easier when the people are very nice in the organisation. The motivation and the push factor are still very difficult, as it’s only me that has to push myself, even though I go to college, as well as doing the volunteering work. I believe that this is going to take a long time to overcome. Another difficult part of the volunteering is just concentrating on the work, as it has been years since I have been employed. Even though the 3 hours a week doesn’t seem to be that long it is to me!