Joe retired from Coillte Teoranta in May 2017, and has since given his time to volunteering with a number of organisations in the Castlebar area.
At a retirement course before finishing his last job, retirees were encouraged to try and stick to normal routine in the interest of looking after their mental and physical health. Daytime TV was a no-no, so Joe decided that volunteering was a great way to keep his mind sharp and his life busy!
Joe had been a subscriber to the Mayo Volunteer Centre mailing list before he retired and had already been checking out areas he might be interested in. The Mayo Tourist Information Centre in the Linenhall Centre was his starting point, and he worked there for one day a week during the summers of 2017 and 2018. A friend of his had been helping out with Castlebar Social Services in Castle street and suggested Joe take up a volunteer role there. He became a delivery driver for Meals on Wheels and continues to do this every Thursday for approximately two hours.
Through Ann Conway at Le Chéile, Joe assists in supporting some conversational English classes with migrants to improve their communication skills on Tuesday evenings.
After some consideration of what might be involved, Joe also applied to Aware to become a facilitator for their weekly group meeting in Castlebar, and went to Dublin to learn the skills required for this role. He is up and running at this stage as a facilitator and does this two evenings per month on a rostered basis.
Recently Joe met with Sr. Margaret of the Canteen Club and now also helps out with homework for children attending there. He also visited the Castlebar Men’s Shed and was made most welcome and as a result is involved with secretarial duties. Joe has been interested and involved in sport for most of his life. He is currently a member of Turlough Wheelers Cycling and he also does some hill walking.
As you can see Joe keeps himself very busy with all the various activities. He states: “I feel it has enhanced my life in many ways and would encourage people to become involved in their local communities and use their skills and talents to help others”.
What a great advertisement for volunteering Joe is, and we wish him continued success in his roles.