From 13-19th May, Dublin City Volunteer Centre will participate in the National Volunteer Week. All over Ireland there will be events that celebrate volunteers and volunteering with this year theme set around the definition of volunteering. Who is a volunteer? What is volunteering? Where do volunteers…volunteer!
To help us understand what volunteering look like for different people and what it means to them, we are asking our volunteers to write down their stories, take a picture of themselves and send to us. These stories will then be shared on social media in the National Volunteer Week to highlight and celebrate all definitions, work and journeys of volunteers all over Ireland.
To start things off we asked Sherry, who we have been so lucky to have volunteering with us for the last few months, to write down her story. Sherry has been invaluable to our work but all good things come to an end and last Friday we said goodbye as she galloped on into an exciting job opportunity.
|Here is Sherry’s story:
‘I began to volunteer in Dublin City Volunteer Centre two months after I relocated to Dublin. I came here to join my husband and was trying to settle in and find a job. Moving to a new country is a daunting experience. At first, I didn’t have many friends here. As an absolutely outgoing person, I get most of my energy from going out and meeting people. So it isn’t hard to imagine how lonely it was for me to sit around at home or alone in the café trying to fill my time with something to do.
After I joined the Volunteer Centre, I met many kind and loving people with whom I developed genuine and meaningful relationships. It gave me a sense of belonging in this new city. Also, volunteering in the Centre every Tuesday gave me a structure and stability in my life that helped me to settle in more smoothly. It was very hard for me to find a job because of my visa, i.e. stamp 3 (luckily the government has changed the policy recently and I am able to start employment immediately). As my job applications were rejected all the time, I started to feel very anxious about my future. Volunteering in the Centre, which goal is to bridge the charities and volunteers and ultimately contribute to a better society, gave me a sense of purpose and value. I was also improving my communication in English in a professional setting. The recognition for my work from my colleagues and mentors greatly boosted my confidence, which also helped me with my job search.
After eight months in the Centre, I am leaving to start my full-time job. It is very exciting for me, but also sad to leave this lovely place where my journey in Dublin has started. I am so grateful for all the staff and volunteers in Dublin City Volunteer Centre who have shown great kindness and supports along the way.
I would highly recommend volunteering in the Centre!
Sherry, Volunteer at the Dublin City Volunteer Centre
If you want to share your story and help people understand what volunteering really is, what it means to you and what volunteers can do, please email Kristin on firstname.lastname@example.org with your story and a picture. You will then have a chance to win two weekend tickets for BEATTYARD 2019! Deadline is 8th May and soon after we will have a live draw on facebook and announce the winner.
Sherry and our Organisation Support Officer, Frances