National Volunteer Week 2023
To celebrate National Volunteering Week 2023, we spoke with some of our amazing volunteers about their experience volunteering with us here in Citywise.
Vincent has been teaching English classes to our European Solidarity Corps volunteers on a weekly basis for as long as we can remember. He gives up two and a half hours each week to help the European volunteers improve their written and spoken English. However Vincent also puts in more volunteering time by providing extra support to the volunteers who choose to sit their English exams.
“When I retired in 2010, I was used to being busy and meeting people every day. I didn't want a job as such but I wanted to do something useful. So, I decided to train to teach English as a foreign language. I got plenty of experience teaching English in Summer Schools during 2011 and 2012.”
“I started giving English classes in Citywise in 2012. I just came once a week and initially had just one student, Piotr, the Polish maintenance man. However, numbers increased and at about that time Citywise had the opportunity participate in an EU programme bringing in volunteers from abroad for a year. Naturally, these volunteers wanted to improve their English and every year welcomed the opportunity to attend an English class.”
“The participation of volunteers from abroad in the Citywise programmes has been very successful, benefitting not just the young people who come every day to Citywise but it has also been enormously rewarding for the volunteers themselves. I like to think that their success is also partly mine. However, I also believe that all of the volunteers enjoy my class, regard it as an important part of their experience in Ireland and I always get great feedback. Many of them still keep in touch and let me know how their lives are progressing.”
“For me personally, volunteering in Citywise has been a wonderful experience. I have learnt a lot about how useful volunteering can be and I have also made a lot of great friends.”
Some of our past European volunteers are still in contact with Vincent on a regular basis, with him offering them support and still helping them to improve their English skills.
We would like to say a huge thank you to Vincent for his ongoing support and all he has brought to Citywise with his volunteering.