#WhyIVolunteer – Paul Seary



I started volunteering in 2017. When my contract finished with the community employment scheme in Jobcare . Voluntary work provided me with an opportunity to learn new skills, to meet and work with interesting people while making a positive contribution to a worthwhile cause.

My first position as a volunteer was as a Tour Guide and Sponsorship Development Volunteer in Seal Rescue Ireland. I brought groups around the centre and explained to them that rescue was only the first step in rehabilitating sick and traumatised animals. Dedicated volunteers are on call night and day to care for the animals and there is great joy when eventually healthy seals are returned to the wild. Fundraising is a very important part of the organisation and I was successful in obtaining much needed funds for the centre from the local county council.

I now volunteer as a receptionist in Dublin City Volunteer Centre, where I answer telephone queries and use Customer Relationship Management software (Salesforce) to connect  volunteers with charities and keep our system updated on an ongoing basis.

 I decided to volunteer during a period of unemployment and voluntary work helped me re-engage with the world of work and to keep positive while doing something good for the community. Through volunteering I have gained valuable experience ranging from fundraising to logistics, shop work and customer service. Volunteering has given me a deeper insight into myself, my abilities
and my limitations.  During my volunteering period, I have learned about the types of work I am suited to and the types of work that I am not.

My best experience throughout my years of volunteering has been at the Dublin City Volunteer Centre. Here, I have been able to further my customer care skills and to enjoy the satisfaction of being able to explain the services that Dublin City Volunteer Centre Provides to people from a variety of backgrounds and charities.

The most difficult thing about being a volunteer is that it is for a limited time as financial circumstance will force you back into paid employment.