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.

Our BIG PRIZE WINNERS are:

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!