Meet Our New Youth Work Coordinator; Elaine

Our new youth Group coordinator Elaine was kind enough to take some time out of her busy schedule to chat to us about her plans for the Youth Groups, her thoughts on Ozanam House and some of her experience working with youth groups;


What are your plans for the Youth Groups?

My plans are to continue with the good work that is already in place at Ozanam House, and to promote evidence based programmes through informal education means. To engage with young people from the community, and to develop their capacity.

Are you looking forward to them starting up again?

Yes, I really enjoy getting to know young people and forming relationships.  Having those discussions of what the young people would like to be involved in, so that we can plan programmes together.  To have an understanding of what it’s like to live in their Community.

Are you enjoying working in Ozanam House so far?

Yes, there is such a lovely atmosphere in Ozanam House, everyone has been really helpful. They have really made me feel welcome in the Ozanam House family. There is a wealth of knowledge and experience of working within the community, and I shall be linking-in with staff and volunteers for their support and advice. There is also a lot of laughter and fun in the building and it’s a joy to come to work.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into youth work?

I live in Bray were I was employed in my local community centre, on a Community Employment Scheme; I was employed as an After School Worker. I really enjoyed it; so much that, that I applied to NUI Maynooth University. I achieved a BA in Community & Youth Work an Honours Degree and a Master in SOCIAL SCIENCE (RIGHTS AND SOCIAL POLICY). Through my attainment in University I was employed by Bray Youth Services/Cross Care as a youth worker. I loved working there, but now I’ve been given an opportunity of a new path, a new role as Youth Work Coordinator at Ozanam House, which I am so happy about.


We Are Looking for Men’s Group Volunteers

Ozanam House is now recruiting volunteers to work with the Men’s Group on Tuesdays and Fridays, 2pm – 5pm.

Overview of the Volunteer Role

We organize activities like computers, exercise, cookery, relaxation and regular outings. But perhaps the most important function of the group is offering its members a social outlet, a place to come and make or meet friends, to develop their confidence and sense of self-respect and self-worth. To reach our full potential and to achieve our goals in the group, we are constantly seeking new volunteers to support the men’s group co-ordinator deliver a qualitative and professional programme to the members.

  • Welcome members and ensure they have a seat and a tea/coffee
  • Provide a listening ear to members, particularly those who are vulnerable for various reasons and in need of company.
  • Develop supportive relationships with the men
  • Assist the co-ordinator with the organisation and delivery of activities
  • Take responsibility for the group from time to time when the co-ordinator needs to be away from the room.
  • 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 context of the role as agreed with the co-ordinator.

Skills, Experience & Qualities Required

  • High motivation and engagement to be a volunteer over a longer period of time
  • Ability to relate well to people and enjoy dealing with them
  • Self-confidence and general ease with other people
  • Assertiveness, teamwork and self-reliance
  • Openness to supervision and working in a team way
  • Intermediate level of English
  • Commitment to the ethos of volunteering and community based initiative
  • 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

Time commitment

The group takes place each Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 2:00pm to 5:00 pm
Volunteers are expected to attend for at least one afternoon per week (the exact times and dates of working will be agreed between the volunteer and the programme co-ordinator). The volunteer should commit to a minimum period of nine months.

Other volunteers
In addition, we welcome applications from potential volunteers who have specific expertise or skills which they can contribute. The time commitment for these volunteers will vary and be agreed in advance with the co-ordinator.


  • Personal development
  • The change to contribute towards the social environment of the men to learn new skills and practice old ones
  • To be part of a progressive team supporting others to improve their lives
  • Opportunity to work in and learn about a community resource centre
  • Opportunity to build up valuable work experience
  • Tea and coffee will be provided for all volunteers.

If you interested in this role, please contact us now!

Phone: 01-8742804

Our Remarkable Volunteers’ Amazing Experiences

Kevin (Youth)

How long have you been volunteering?

Two or three years now with the Summer Project and then I continued on into the Youth Groups and I’m doing the Summer Project again.


How did you hear about Ozanam House?

My sister told me about it. She did it for a week or two. I was starting college and she told me about Ozanam House, it would be a bit of experience for me because it kind of tied in with what I was studying, which was social work.


What was been your favourite moment so far?

I don’t know if I can pick one. There has been so many so far. I suppose getting to know kids and building a relationship with them.


Rachael (Youth and Childcare)

How long have you been volunteering?

This is my second week now and I will be doing three weeks of the Childcare project as well.


How did you hear about Ozanam House?

Through college. I was doing some of the Homework Clubs with the Saint Vincent de Paul Society through college and they sent out an email about Ozanam House and the Summer Project and I thought it sounded like a great idea.


What has been your favourite moment so far?

Probably the first time they played Bingo. They love it. Most of them are about eight. You call out a number, say 66. They all start screaming “oh, I’ve 67” or “I’ve 65” and they just get so into it. You look around and see all these little faces outraged that a certain number has not been called. That has been my favourite moment so far.


Alannah (Childcare)

How long have you been volunteering?

I actually volunteered two summers ago for a week. This my first time doing the full three weeks of the childcare project.


How did you hear about it?

I heard about it through my college, St. Patrick’s, now DCU. They sent an email, I think it was the Student Union.


Have you any favourite memories so far?

Probably St Anne’s Park. We went there yesterday and they really liked that.  They played on the swings and stuff. I think the trip days are they best. They really like that. They get so excited when they see the bus. They know they are going somewhere.


Keena (Youth and Childcare)

How long have you been volunteering?

This year is my first year. I did three weeks of the Youth Summer Projects and two weeks of this.


Do you find there was much difference?

With the Youth Summer Project is just more hectic. There is a lot going, but it is definitely very fun. This is more calm and you get to spend more time with the kids, which is nice.


How did you find out about Ozanam House?

Through college as well. One of the lecturers sent out an email, in St. Pats’s as well.


Any favourite memories so far?

I enjoyed all the trips. we went to Skerries and Marlay Park and places like that. They were all fun. It was great to spend time with the kids and experience new places I had never been before.



Our Childcare Centre is Getting a Lick of Paint

Our childcare centre is the beating heart of Ozanam House. Many memories are made here, friendships started and love shown. We try to interact with the children in a way that will benefit them not just now but as they go forward into school, their teenage years, adulthood and beyond.

Because this all takes the hard work of our dedicated staff and volunteers, the Dolphin, Koala and Meerkat rooms are starting to show some wear-and-tear. So the children can get the best out of their experience here, we are revamping the rooms. Many more memories will be made, laughs heard and stories told in the new look rooms. As always, we will keep you posted of any updates.

Saying Goodbye

On the last day of the Youth Summer Projects, we had a parade around Mountjoy Square. It was a great send-off for both the children and volunteers.

The last day of the project is always bittersweet and this time around was no different. We had tears and hugs. Children pleading to come back…. Parents lining up to enquire about the registration day for our youth programmes in September. As short as two weeks might sound, it makes an enormous impact on the children and the holidays we are able to give them. The handmade thank you cards from the children will surely make it to the volunteers memory boxes for a very long time.


As I was about to close the side door for one last time for project 1, I noticed that One of the members from Rhythms stayed back with his mum after everyone left, crying his little heart out. When I asked them what was going on they told me that he was crying because he didn’t want to lose all the new friends he had made in this two weeks. It is at times like this that we get to fully appreciate the impact the Summer Project has on the children’s life. In many ways the Summer Project brings the whole community around Ozanam House together for the duration of the summer to make a difference in the children’s life. All this is only possible with the huge contribution and dedication from our volunteers who take time out from their summer holidays and help us make the children’s Summer happen.


World Cup 2018 Forecast Competition Winners

A HUGE THANK YOU to everybody who entered our World Cup 2018 Forecast Competition and supporting Ozanam House and helping us to raise €2,000.

We hope you enjoyed the competition and followed your progress with interest. The final leader-board has been calculated and all tie breakers taken into  consideration. The complete list of results can be viewed on the competition FINAL LEADERBOARD.


1st   Place:  Maura Jones        €500

2nd Place:  Matt Burge           €400

3rd  Place:  Ronan Murphy    €300

4th  Place:  Colm Connolly     €200

5th  Place:  Gerry O’Connor   €100

And our €50 prize winners are:

50th Place:     Samantha Nolan

100th Place:   Maria Farrell

150th Place:   Mia Donnelly

200th Place:  Louise Gough

250th Place:  Niamh O’Donnell

Congratulations to all of our winners and once again many thanks to everyone who got involved for your support!

Our Wonderful Volunteer Leaders – What a Difference they Make

The young people are not the only ones full of excitement and joy for the summer project. This year we have had the highest number of returning volunteers coming back as youth leaders for the duration of the project. This is thanks to the success and pure enjoyment from the previous years. The volunteers can see the positive impact they are making on the lives of these children.

Both our returning and new volunteers bring their dedication, time, energy, skills and experience to each and every day they are in Ozanam House. They make a lasting impact on the lives of the children and young people and even through some of them are only taking part in the project for few days or a week,  children and young people see their energy and the positive attitudes they bring. They are the ones who take part and lead activities each and every day, they facilitate the fun and joy the children and young people are having and look forward to every summer. None of what we are trying to do in Ozanam House would be possible if we didn’t have our amazing volunteers.

With the help and great work of the volunteers, so far we have been able to give a fantastic experience to 235 children and young people this Summer.


Summer Projects 2018 – What It All Means to us…..

Nothing sounds and feels like summer more than the first day of the Youth Summer Project in Ozanam House. The den is full of volunteers in yellow t-shirts and on the other side of our door there are approximately 100 very excited children and their families waiting to start their summer of fun with us.

Summer project has its very own special type of magic to it, children tell each other stories about past projects as if they were the most fascinating and captivating tales. For weeks they have been trying to get top secret details of the plans out of me, asking me questions every time they got a chance. Who is coming back, where are we going, are we making slime, are we going back to Fort Lucan… On the first day of the project I have had parents tell me that children were up at 6am in the morning begging to go to Ozanam House already.

With the help and great work of the volunteers, so far we have been able to give a fantastic summer to up to 230 children and young people.

This year we have themes for each week of the summer project including Championship, Carnival and Science week. The young people got to do lots of activities related to each theme. It has been so much fun….we don’t want it to ever end!