Our video series features Irish in Britain member organisations from across Britain. It includes those who befriend people on the phone, staff paying tribute to those who give up their time to help out in the community, and people who benefit from volunteers coming in to check on them and have a chat on the doorstep.
Many contributors talk about the positive benefits of volunteering, particularly after the last year.
These videos show just how engaged and passionate Irish people in Britain are about supporting their communities. This series is our way of saying thank you to the legions of volunteers who have given their time and energy this year.
Volunteering not only has a positive difference to the lives of those who are being helped, but it makes a big impact on the volunteers themselves.
Charles, who volunteers for Leeds Irish Health & Homes, says “while we might be helping others in our own community, the truth is they are also helping us.”
A volunteer at the Irish Cultural Centre, Dympna, describes how she likes helping out at the seniors’ tea dances as it makes her think of how her father enjoyed dances as a young man.
Several volunteers talked about how they benefited from the sense of purpose and routine that volunteering gives them, particularly in terms of their mental health.
Some of the videos feature the recipients of food delivery services, who say that they have loved having a chat on the doorstep during lockdowns. Peter, who volunteers with Lewisham Irish Centre, talks about the rapport and friendships he has built up over the last year, particularly with people who may not be able to leave where they live.
We also hear about the various ways charities and groups have kept people connected. Mary in Luton says that she received a bacon and cabbage dinner for St Patrick’s Day and “bingo over the phone was the icing on the cake”.
Thank you to all volunteers!
Watch all the videos HERE.