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.
Adult Education – Cookery Training Programme
One of our most popular programmes is our cookery training centre otherwise known as our “Healthy Options Centre”. Each individual course runs for 10 weeks and each class is 2hrs in duration.
The courses we run in our cookery training room aim to provide people with simple and basic skills required to provide healthy meals for themselves and their families. They are based on the understanding that healthy eating does not have to be difficult or expensive. Each class also includes some nutritional information with the aim of educating people about the foods we eat and the effect these foods can have on our general wellbeing.
These courses also involve a more practical approach on how to cook healthy food on a budget.
Thursday 10.15-11.45 am and 7.00-9.00pm
The aim of this centre is to limit the use of fast food as the main elements in the diets of the community, offering them a healthier option in this regard while at the same time teaching them some useful culinary skills that will benefit them and their families throughout their lives.
As cookery is a skill everyone would aspire to having our groups can be diverse in age, ethnicity, learning capacity and personal background. This allows for a nice balance of members in the class and can create a good sense of community in the class as groups can reflect our world around us.
Overview of the volunteer role
To reach our full potential and to achieve our goals in the classes, we are constantly seeking new volunteers to share their interest in cookery and to assist the cookery tutor these classes in an informal setting. Our classes are focused on the needs of the individuals who take them. Each class has a team of 2 teachers who work together sharing tasks and lead teaching each week.
- To use the recipe information already in place and/or to think of recipes with your teaching partner or together with the group and to share this with the group one week in advance
- Preparation of the classes according to a given course outline
- Take class attendance on a daily basis
- Teach the class
- Supervise the group
- Act as a mentor and help the people with their learning goals
- Motivate and encourage the group to use their skills and passions
- To attend team 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
- To source and purchase the ingredients needed to undertake the classes, these will be funded by the centre
- Inform participants about healthy cooking, nutrition, cooking on a budget and shopping skills
- Introduce new members to the group and ensure all members are included and engaged in the activity
- To follow the policies and procedures of Ozanam House (which can be
found in the induction pack or in the office) as well as the Cookery Centre
Health & Safety Policies in place.
Classes in the cookery centre run on Thursday mornings from 10:15 to 11:45 am and Thursday evenings from 7:00 to 9:00pm.
The volunteer should commit to at least one of the classes mentioned above plus extra time for the preparation of the classes (the exact times and days of working will be agreed between the volunteer and the programme co-ordinator). The volunteer should commit to a minimum period of nine months. This covers 3 terms with each term lasting 10 weeks. This offers consistency to a class level and offers the volunteer the opportunity to develop that class well over time.
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 baking, sugar craft, First Aid in the kitchen and taught specific applicable skills to the group. 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 coordinator.
Skills, Experience & Qualities Required
- Interest in cooking
- Ability to relate well to people and enjoy dealing with them
- Ability to work independently and as part of a team
- Self-confidence and general ease with other people
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills – vital in a supportive role
- Good organizational skills
- Good level of English
- High motivation and engagement to be a volunteer over a longer period of time
- Commitment to the ethos of volunteering and a community based initiative
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
- Team meetings 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 larger group 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 their lives
- To be part of a progressive and energetic 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