A safe place where people learn and grow,
that serves our needs and enriches our lives
in a supportive, fun and caring environment’
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 in Dublin’s north inner city. The centre now offers over 600 programme places to more than 500 people per week where our youngest member is 2 and our eldest is 96. We also engage 75 active volunteers who share their time and skills each week for the benefit of others.
Overview of the Volunteer Role
We operate IT systems and infrastructure in the following way –
- We have an admin server and network that manages an IT system for 9 admin computers in 3 separate locations in the building
- We have an IT training room with 9 machines (8 training pc’s and one teachers ps) linked to the network system (accessing internet and wifi) but run separate to the admin server. This room acts as a stand alone network where the 8 training pc’s are networked through the teachers machine in the room.
The role of the volunteer supporting our IT systems is as follows:
- Becoming familiar with the IT infrastructure in the centre. A comprehensive plan and details of the system same is available for review
- Troubleshooting – supporting the centre by offering off site or hands on advice in dealing with day to day problems if and when they arise.
- Networking – supporting the centre in dealing with day to day network problems if and when they arise.
- Software and Hardware Management – advising (off site or hands on – depending on availability) the centre on any hardware of software issues if and when they arise
- Auditing aged equipment – assisting to audit aged equipment that has been take off the system. We aim to clean the hard drives and to donate these units back to service users who may benefit from them in their learning as they would not be able to afford computers.
The volunteer should commit to at least one evening per month (2-3 hours) to come in to review all areas so that we stay on top of the systems and are then able to deal with possible issues before they arise. This day/time can be arranged locally.
The time commitment for troubleshooting is flexible where the need for assistance can happen at different times and the availability of the volunteer to respond depends on the time, day of the call. There is an understanding that when a call for assistance is made it may be a few hours or days before the volunteer is available to come in to assist us and this is an expected part of the role. The earlier the volunteer is available the better for the centre.
Other possible Volunteer roles
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 courses in desktop publishing, digital photography and mobile phone use (smart phones). Based on the skills offered we can tailor a course for a term of 10 weeks. The time commitment for these volunteers will be agreed in advance with the co-ordinator.
Skills, Experience & Qualities Required
- Willingness to share your computer and technology knowledge
- Good organizational skills
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills – vital in a supportive role
- Ability to work independently and as part of a team
- 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
- Patience, resilience, tolerance and flexibility
- Self-confidence and general ease with other people
- Understanding of and commitment to the ethos of volunteering, community initiative and the organisation
Training & Induction
- The volunteer will attend an induction/information night in the centre prior to his/her first engagement 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
- Team meetings with our team of computer teachers take place each term, as well as individual training programmes that will be provided if/where 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 team meetings to discuss ongoing progress and any issues arising.
General volunteer meetings, for all volunteers, will take place twice a year, in May and November.
- Personal and professional development
- Sharing knowledge that can help others enrich other peoples’ lives
- Opportunity to work in and learn about a community resource centre
- Opportunity to build up valuable work experience
- Opportunity to make a great difference – one that is positive and rewarding – to your life and your community
- To be part of a progressive and energetic team supporting others to achieve their goals and to improve their lives.