Mary has been actively volunteering in many projects within the Westport area for over 40 years. She started volunteering in the Westport Family & Community Resource Centre when it was established in 2004, and on average, spends approximately 8 hours per month volunteering.
Mary was involved with the Social Services in Westport and through that, became aware that the Westport Family & Community Resource Centre was seeking a volunteer for the older people’s sub-committee, and that was her initial introduction to the organisation. Since then she has become involved in many projects that the centre offers including Fáilte Isteach, Care and Repair, Befriending, Cara Visitation and IT Tutoring.
Mary gets a great level of personal satisfaction from helping others and working with people in the community. She feels that it is a really beneficial experience and she thoroughly enjoys her role as a volunteer. One of Mary’s highlights while volunteering was winning the Pride of Place Award which was a wonderful experience for the town of Westport and the Westport Family and Community Resource Centre.
Mary feels that from volunteering she has become a good listener, and realises that it is possibly one of the most important skills. She has worked with people of all age groups in her role as a volunteer and can see the positive impact that volunteering has made and continues to make in the community as a whole.
Mary would highly recommend becoming a volunteer to anyone and she actively encourages people to get involved.
She states: “It’s a great way to get to know people within the community and it brings a real sense of personal achievement. You only get out of any organisation what you put into it and it’s up to you how involved you want to be. I would encourage anyone to make themselves available for volunteering; it’s one hour a week that will make a huge difference to someone’s life and to the community as a whole.”