Volunteers needed to share skills with retirement villagers
Since Páirc Na Coille Retirement Village opened its doors to the people of Ennis and surrounds early this year, it has been welcomed with open arms by the generous-spirited people of Ennis. With an active retirement community wishing to be part of the wider Ennis community and the Ennis community curious about the concept of a retirement village, it was only a matter of time until the communities merged in a scheme which benefitted both.
Fundamental to the fusion was the volunteer scheme put in place by manager Geraldine O’Meara with the support of a set of willing helpers.
It is a reciprocal arrangement, where residents offer volunteer services to the community such as their skills or time. The activities in the village are then provided by volunteers who provide workshops in art, computer skills and language classes, to name a few.
As part of the scheme, the retirement community are currently looking for volunteers to come along and show them how to use the Internet and e-mail.
“Volunteering,” Geraldine explains, “is an altruistic activity, intending to promote or improve quality of life. Our ethos is to build an active retirement community, promoting independence and fostering wider community relationships. Volunteering builds cohesive communities and fosters trust, which is fundamental in developing solidarity and the reciprocity that is essential to stable communities.
“Our aim at Páirc na Coille Retirement Village is to re-introduce the concept of neighbourliness. Self-help is an important safety net in the times of adversity we are experiencing. To expand this self-help to benefit those in greater need is at the core of volunteering.
“Our volunteer programme is a combination of skills-based volunteering and the more traditional form of volunteering. Skills volunteering enables us to offer our residents the opportunity to learn a new skill from persons specifically trained in the area they are volunteering in. We are willing to try almost anything. Help us to learn to surf the Internet.”
If you have a skill to offer, contact Geraldine O’Meara at Páirc na Coille Retirement Village by the Showgrounds and Rugby Club on 065 68 24672.
Alternatively, if you require volunteers for your scheme or you require a community space to hold a meeting or forum, give them ring.
“We are willing to help and are interested in all community projects in Ennis, we have a range of interesting talents,” said Geraldine.
Meanwhile, Páirc na Coille will be supporting the Irish Hospice Foundation and their colleagues in the hospice foundation in Ennis by hosting a coffee morning in line with Ireland’s Biggest Coffee Morning next Thursday at 11am.
To take part, make a small contribution to the official Irish Hospice Foundation collection box in the clubhouse on the day.