I first became aware of Age NI’s work after my mum volunteered in their Skainos Day Centre – it was clear to see how much she enjoyed and got out of it and so through my school’s voluntary service programme, I decided to give it a try myself.
Practically, myself and my friend who volunteered with me would mainly try to be of use around the centre, helping to serve tea and coffee, wiping tables and mopping floors but also by running activities for the clients.
The atmosphere of the day centre is what makes it such a lovely place to go to and be a part of. The clients are so welcoming and are always up for a bit of craic; be it singing, quizzes, games or just a good natter. My dog, Rosi, even called in for a visit, which I think she enjoyed as much as the clients! One of the most rewarding things about volunteering in the day centre is the relationships that you develop; there is a goldmine of fascinating stories and life experiences to be heard if you only ask!
The hands-on work Age NI does with those later in life makes such a positive impact, providing a welcoming atmosphere to come and relax, chat with friends and have a cup of tea, which can make all the difference to those who otherwise may be isolated. The centre workers also help with the clients emotionally by being there for them in whatever way they can, such as asking them how hospital appointments went and making sure they have someone to talk to if they are struggling with an issue – being able to contribute towards this is so rewarding.
Age NI has really helped me personally as well, giving me valuable experience of working with people and helped improve my CV and personal statement, which has really come in handy throughout Sixth Year and moving onto university.
If you are thinking of volunteering with Age NI, I wouldn’t hesitate – it feels great to be able to contribute to your community and ensure people enjoy their later life, as I hope to do some day too.
To volunteer, fill out the volunteer form, telephone 028 9024 5729 or email firstname.lastname@example.org