Volunteering at St Mary’s

Pictured: Volunteers of St Mary’s dressed up for a 1916 event. Image courtesy of Maura Masterson, St. Mary’s Centre.

Pictured: Volunteers of St Mary’s dressed up for a 1916 event.
Image courtesy of Maura Masterson, St. Mary’s Centre.

Have you ever thought of volunteering but unsure how to go about it or what it may entail?

In honour of ‘National Volunteering Week’ which took place between May 16th and 22nd, NewsFour met with Joan Kiernan from St. Mary’s Centre on Merrion Road in Donnybrook, to learn about the role the volunteer plays in such an organisation and exactly what is involved in volunteering.

St. Mary’s Centre provides care and accommodation to ladies of all ages who have a visual impairment and currently accommodates 80 residents. Kiernan explains that the role of a volunteer is “to enable residents to be active and participate in existing or new services and activities”.

The centre has a dedicated Volunteer Coordinator and an Assistant Coordinator who organises a team of volunteers to help with the daily living and activities for all their residents.

There are 12 volunteers in St. Mary’s who perform varied and diverse tasks. Their main duties involve escorting the ladies for any treatment they may need such as physiotherapy or taking the ladies to hospital, dental or hair appointments.

Volunteers may also assist with leisure activities, which range from assisting with sing-songs and storytelling to accompanying residents while shopping, going for a coffee or simply just a walk. Some volunteers even provide beauty care such as manicures or reflexology for residents.

Kiernan was eager to emphasise the important function volunteers play at the centre. “We aim to ensure that our residents feel as supported as possible in their day-to-day lives and the input of our volunteers is a vital part of the work in the centre. Volunteers are integral in order for our centre to run smoothly.’’

St. Mary’s mission is to provide a homely, caring environment, encouraging independence as far as possible for those under its care. It is their objective to provide the highest standard of care in co-operation with their staff and others who assist them in carrying out their duties.

St. Mary’s Centre is actively seeking volunteers. The minimum time commitment required is two hours per week. Those wishing to volunteer at St. Mary’s Centre can email: info@stmarysblind.ie. Alternatively contact Joan Kiernan at 01-2693411.

By Marguerite Reilly