Be a volunteer : meeting with three volunteers in the Mental Health


Often, volunteering belong to the culture and history of a country, in fact, in 2015, more than 14,400 people were registered in the national volunteer database.
We often said help yourself by helping other people. Thus, there are many reasons why people decide to be a volunteer: for some it is an occasion to help people with the same problem, for others it is a professional opportunity. So we become a volunteer for personal or professional reasons but at the end everyone agree that this is an experience of life and will provide opportunities.

Meeting with three students to understand why they did this choice and with which motivations!

Why did you decide to be a volunteer ?

Michelle O’Connor, 22 years old, student in event business in England was a volunteer for TeenLine Ireland during 9 months as an event manager:
I am currently student event management over in England and for my third year i had to do an internship and I came across TeenLine on Indeed they were advertising for event management and social media position so i decided to apply there and I got a great experience out of it.’

Jodie Kenny, 21 years old, is a student at Dublin Institute of Technology and also volunteer for See Change and Jigsaw as a member of the youth panel advisor in part time :
‘Being a volunteer is something that I  had always been interest in. When I was in secondary school, I struggled quite badly with my mental heath and I though there were no resources to support me. Thus, I wanted to give back when I was older and let people who might be in the same position as me know that there are ressources available to help them. Also, they knew have to access that help, and knew where to look to get it. I think I wanted to make a difference in young person life.

Jamie Harrington, 18 years old, is currently as barmen and a volunteer as a ambassador and public speaker in different Mental Health charity :
It’s a question that I ask myself everyday, I suppose when I was younger I suffered of mental health. I wanted to help young people to know that there is support for them like I need it. Volunteer is very important for Irish society at the moment because Ireland went through a massive recession and nobody was working as a volunteer. People stopped volunteering so charity are seen their number drop drastically so I feel its very important to let people know that volunteer is very important.

What did volunteering provide you ?

Michelle : ‘Volunteer was a really rewarding experience, I also gain experience in event management for my course, also working and organised different event with no budget.’

Jodie :’ Since I start volunteering i met so much amazing people, its really nice to meet people with the same goal and the same objective as you. People who volunteering in the mental health sector generally has a reason to volunteer there and because of that they are all very open minded. Volunteering, also give me a sense of purpose; I felt quite lost and trapped by my own story. Also,  it  give me a sense of value and a lot of opportunities : I have been able to attend a lot of mental health event, I have now to talk at schools, take training workshop and more, I have to share my story publicly it gives me a bigger platform that I would ever expected.’

Jamie: ‘Volunteering provide a lot of skills ; I learn how to speak in public, work in an office, with young people and children. I learn a lot of stuff through volunteering; it was a great opportunity for me.’

How do you manage student life and volunteering ?

Jodie : ‘Volunteering is quite flexible so it doesn’t interfere with the student life too much. Obviously sometimes there is overlap and I have to make choice between volunteering or attended college but volunteering is very flexible and they do make quite easy on your terms and on your time so it’  s doesn’t interfere with college as much as I originally thought it was.

Do you have advice for student who wants to be volunteer ?

Jodie : ‘I definitely say get in contact with the organisation that you want to be volunteer with, find something that you are passionate about and get involve as much as you can they are so many opportunities when you are a volunteer, you got to go to so many event, training, it’s very flexible, in terms of hour and you should be able to balance your college and volunteering life together so don’t worry about that.

Jamie : ‘Get up, get out, do it, fill in the application form! Volunteering will provide you a lot of skills that you need in life for free. Don’t be afraid to try new things!.’

If also you, you want to take the plunge, inform you here !

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