Thursday, 23rd November 2017
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Brothers of Charity

Volunteer Open Evening Wednesday 6th September 18:30pm - 8pm. Killean Resource Centre, Lacken Road Retail Park , Waterford

We all lead very busy lives with work, family, education and social events being just some of the commitments drawing on our time. That said, when we sit down and think about it, we might just be able to find a spare hour or two in the week to give to people with intellectual disabilities.

An organisation that supports people with Intellectual disabilities locally is The Brothers of Charity Services Ireland South East, who provide a range of day and residential services designed to meet the varying needs of adults and children with Intellectual Disabilities within Waterford City and County, and South Tipperary. Sarah Mears is the Volunteer Coordinator with the Brothers of Charity Services Ireland South East.

When asked about the role volunteering can play explained “the benefit of having someone who has chosen to be in your life is just invaluable to the self-esteem and confidence of the people we support. People who volunteer can provide a connection that is different to that of a paid worker. When people enquire about volunteering one of the questions I often get asked is “do I need a qualification” and the simple answer is no. Volunteering is not about qualifications but about the time and energy that you can bring to the role. It’s about meeting new people and sharing interests with them, about spending time with somebody and supporting them to be an active member of their community,” Sarah said.

When asked to describe a typical volunteering day, David Keane who has been volunteering with the service for over two years said “it can vary from going to the beach for a walk on a sunny day, to going to a café or pub for some light refreshments and relaxing.”

He explains that each day can be different and that he likes “to offer choice and variety while keeping in mind what the other person would like to do.”

Starting the process to volunteer can be daunting and many people may feel that they don’t know where to begin. Alexandra Anton has been volunteering with the service for over a year now. She would advise anyone who is thinking of volunteering to go for it.

“If you have an hour a week or a month and are looking to get involved, then definitely get in touch with Sarah and she will talk you through the process. I was nervous when I first enquired but it couldn’t have been any easier. I should have started years ago, explains Alexandra.

“There are lots of different types of volunteering roles available for people interested in spending some quality time with the people we support. Some of our volunteers have been with us for many years, while others commit for a specific length of time or a particular project we need additional support for. There’s no one size fits all” explains Sarah.

“From our perspective we would ask that if people think they have something to offer or would like to volunteer with us, that they make contact with us. We can talk about what they are willing to offer, what they are expecting from being a volunteer and how that might fit with the needs of the people we support. We can then work it out from there.”

Claire, a person who uses the services of the Brothers of Charity Services Ireland South East has had the support of her volunteer for a number of years. When asked if she felt having a volunteer has made a difference, Claire said “yes it’s good, we do lots together.”

If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering or would like to get more information we will be holding an open evening on Wednesday 6th September from 18:30pm – 20:00pm. This will take place in the Killean Resource Centre, Lacken Road Retail Park in Waterford and is an opportunity to learn more about the volunteering roles available and the application process.

If you would like to attend please contact Sarah Mears, Volunteer Coordinator on 087-6143110 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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