"Get back more than you give"

Elderly people, People with disabilities, Poverty and social injustice - Dublin Local Group

I found out about VSI Dublin Local Group (DLG) through an advertisement on the radio looking for volunteers. That was back in 2002. I had been looking for voluntary work to do and the practicality of what DLG does really appealed to me. Six years on and the work appeals to me as much today as it did when I started!

Work is referred to the DLG via other charities, social workers from the local authorities and by people themselves, who have heard about us through word of mouth. All suitable projects are visited by our volunteers and then the whole group decides on whether we can do a particular job or not. Most of the work we take on is in situations where the standard of living has fallen below the norm due to either poverty or a disability.

It is amazing the difference that 10 volunteers with brushes, scrapers and cloths can make and that is not only in the physical sense of the word. There is also nothing like the surprise and delight on peoples' faces when they see their house transformed. As a volunteer I have visited and worked in the homes of people from all walks of life and all across the city.

I have discovered that volunteering is definitely a two way thing because whatever I have given of my time I have received back in the form of new friendships and a great knowledge of DIY. A community is made up of its inhabitants but it's what those inhabitants do for each other's good that gives it its spirit. Volunteering in any form is a great way to contribute to the well being of a community and I guarantee that you will always get back more than you give.

Roisin Bateson, 2008

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