Active Retirement Group – Friday Volunteer

                    

                                       

A safe place where people learn and grow,

that serves our needs and enriches our lives

in a supportive, fun and caring environment’

 

Our organisation & the programme

Ozanam House is a community resource centre run by the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. It is located on the site of the original clothing and furniture warehouse in a building that has also been used by the Society for a variety of purposes for over 100 years. Since our opening in September 2002 we have continued to develop various programmes and projects aimed at addressing the issue of social exclusion as well as the many needs of the local community.

One of these programmes is our Active Retirement Group (ARG). This group is open to people over the age of 55. The group aims to provide members with a social environment and outlet where they engage in activities to develop skills which help improve their physical health while keeping alive their mental capacity, as well as their social and emotive wellbeing.

Overview of the Volunteer Role
We organize activities like physical fitness programmes, board games, cross words, table quizzes, darts, bowls, bingo, and specific courses which vary over time – for example, Irish and How to Use your Mobile Phone. In addition, guest speakers on topics of relevance to the group are scheduled on a monthly basis. Outings are also organised on a monthly basis in consultation with the group. A Summer programme takes place in the month of July. But perhaps the most important function of the group is the social aspect as many of our members live alone. To reach our full potential and to achieve our goals in the group, we seek new volunteers from time to time to support the ARG co-ordinator deliver a quality and professional programme to the members.

Tasks for Friday Volunteers

  • Undertake shopping for bingo prizes. A weekly budget is available to buy 15 small prizes. This usually involves a trip to the local Aldi and some additional shopping in local stores.
  • Call out bingo numbers; Check bingo cards; Issue prizes
  • Provide cover for the co-ordinator from time to time due to unavoidable absences
  • Attend outings and trips to provide support to co-ordinator, if requested and if available
  • To attend meetings and training days if/when possible
  • To follow the policies and procedures of Ozanam House which can be found in the induction pack or in the office
  • Other general responsibilities in the contest of the role as agreed with the co-ordinator

Time Commitment

Volunteers are expected to undertake shopping between 9.30am and 11am and call out bingo from 11.15am to 12.30pm.  Volunteers for the Friday role have the option of alternating every second Friday with another volunteer.
It is our expectation that volunteers will commit to working with the Active Retirement Group for a minimum of one year.

Other Volunteers

In addition, we welcome applications from potential volunteers who have specific expertise or skills which they can contribute. For example, volunteers in the past have delivered training in First Aid, taught specific crafts to the group, and donated reflexology treatments. The time commitment for these volunteers will vary and be agreed in advance with the co-ordinator.


Skills, Experience & Qualities

  • High motivation and commitment to be a volunteer over a long period of time
  • Ability to relate well to elderly people and enjoy dealing with them
  • Self-confidence and general ease with other people
  • Assertiveness, teamwork and self-reliance
  • Intermediate level of English
  • Commitment to the ethos of volunteering and community based initiatives
  • Previous experience is desirable but not essential

Training & Induction

  • The volunteer will receive an induction/information night in the centre prior to his/her first inset and will get a general information pack to become familiar with the centre and our procedures
  • The volunteer will have an initial meeting with the co-ordinator to receive a role-specific induction and to agree a timetable and schedule of duties in line with the volunteer role description
  • Ongoing individual training programmes will be provided if necessary


Support & Supervision

The co-ordinator will be responsible for the supervision of the volunteer. Volunteers will meet with their co-ordinator either in one-to-one meetings, or in larger meetings with other ARG volunteers to discuss ongoing progress and any issues arising.
General Ozanam House volunteer meetings, for all volunteers, will take place twice a year, in May and November.

Benefits

  • Personal development
  • The chance to contribute towards the social environment of elderly people to improve their overall well being
  • Opportunity to work in and learn about a community resource centre
  • Opportunity to build up working experience
  • To be part of a progressive team supporting others to improve their lives
  • Tea and coffee will be provided for all volunteers