Continuing with our celebration of our volunteers this week, we took some time out to catch up with Step Up Volunteer Avril Halligan
When did you start volunteering?
I started volunteering at a young age in my home town with Meals and Wheels, and also when I lived in Galway I was involved for many years volunteering with a homeless shelter for women. I started Volunteering in Dublin with Solas Project in 2014.
How did you find it at first?
I hadn't worked in this type of setting before, as a one to one mentor, so both the young person I am mentoring and myself, had to find our feet and get to know each other to build up trust. So the first stages were tentative, but over time a unique friendship develops.
What have the highlights been for you?
The highlights have been developing that trust and bond with each other, getting to know each other better, and being in some small way involved in this young persons life.
Why do you choose to volunteer?
I choose to volunteer because I feel we all need to contribute something to society and give back some of our free time to our communities.
What do you get out of it?
I have always really enjoyed volunteering over the years, most especially the people I have met a long the way. It also great to be part of something bigger like the Solas Project grassroots community project, and it is a joy to mentor a young person.
How have you seen Step Up impact one or more young people’s lives since you joined?
I have seen a lot of the young people grow more confident in their abilities and building bonds with their mentors.
If you are interested in finding out more about any of our volunteering opportunities, please email Emily@solasproject.ie for further information.