By Tom Curley
The monthly salary cheque direct to the bank – the weekly payslip to the inside pocket and, for the least financially endowed, the meagre (but always welcome) hourly rate cash in hand payout has – for as long as memory serves – been the survival kit of existence. Such however, are the socially distinguished, for whom the dice has fallen right side up.
In these perfidious times, riddled with betrayal and deceit, there are, regretfully, the very many unfortunate souls who, despite years of dedicated service to their peers, find themselves without the alarm clock call. For them, when the ink on the final pay deal dries up, there is the fortitude of government aid, though continually threatened like a darkening cloud. Then there are those of us whose job of journeywork is over (well, maybe after a few more new corners to be rounded) for whom our past masters also, in recognition of our allegiance to them, supply reasonable ammunition to keep the wolf from the door. We are fearful too that in some form or other the gunfire will slacken. To work is the God-given right bestowed on men and women and should not be pilfered before the end of the road. The super-rich who plunder for more have torn the ancient script apart. There are, however, two sides to the coin – the brighter side is the Volunteering Movement.
In the wait, be it long or short, for the return to work green flag, volunteering can often be the escape route for troubled minds, the vacant stare. For centuries, volunteering is a worldwide phenonomen. Volunteers come in many frames, from all walks of life, diverse groups, all ages from youth to active age and for many reasons. These are the good people who give everything. Their free time offered unselfishly and, indeed, large unheralded. Their rewards, while not financial, are of higher value, idealism, achievement and satisfaction. Horizons are broadened, fresh challenges met; new friendships made and often maintained, confidence – if waned, particularly in those brittle times – restored.
Volunteers play a crucial role in the wide varieties of areas on offer, such as charity fundraising, community calls, sports and social club events, drama societies and school occasions. Their contribution in all areas of society is meaningful, highly valued and lasting. In playing such a central role volunteers are a major source of support and carry different prospective and skills to the organisations they freely represent. Volunteering can be seen as a large family get-together with a deep feeling of belonging and community spirit. In these fragmented times more and more people, of all denominations, are becoming involved. Volunteering has never been of more beneficial value, highly recognised by organisations, employers and encouraged by universities.
Students have a distinct contribution to make as they prepare to take the debutant step of their youth beyond the lecture hall on life’s merry-go-round. Volunteering, however, should not be taken lightly. In the absence of a whip hand to the rear – or out front – the challenge should be taken responsibly and enjoyed. No one volunteer, in what they do, is superior to the other. Volunteers can come in many numbers, from the dozen or so at the weekly concert to the hundred or more at the race meeting or Sunday game.
In complete number contrast the ‘Let’s Do It Global’ Volvo Ocean Race Grand Finale in Galway at the end of June – the largest sporting event in the country – is seeking to attract 2000 volunteers.
Volunteer Resource Co-ordinator is Una James from Knockroe in Castlerea. Una is a child of the Mercy Nuns in Castlerea and, afterwards, a business student at GMIT. She holds a Degree in Human Relations. Sitting at her clustered desk – paperwork and future plans – she gives of her valuable time to elaborate on the mammoth task she commands with her superiors and staff.
Una explains that the chief aim is to attract the required numbers from all different sections of the community with diverse qualities and interests. There are no barriers.
Through early advertising the phone lines are busy, emails lighting the screens – but she reminds, that the invitation cards are still on dispatch. All applicants will be processed through her office.
Volunteers will then undergo a short training period and afterwards distributed – where possible, at volunteers’ own preference and interest – to the widespread location of Events clarion call – the main core being the newly constructed Global and Race Villages in the general Dockland area. In specific areas, where radio communications and general technology are required, onsite training is provided.
The ten-day event will host a major youth programme, including theatre, song, dance, storytelling and comedy. School tours are expected from various parts of the country. Special emphasis will be placed on children’s participation, particularly in water activities where, with parents’ permission and under strict supervision, they will be taken out on selected water and educated in the many wonders of the water world. With free days ‘Let’s Do It Global’ volunteers will be required to work in two seven-hour shifts daily, commencing at 9.30 am. Meals, uniforms and appropriate identification will be supplied.
The 2012 ‘Let’s Do It Global’ Volvo Ocean Race Grand Finale in Galway will be a showboat of entertainment beyond expectations – its 2000 volunteers, a celebration of people who enrich the surrounding waters.
Enquiries to www.oceanracegalway.com or phone 091-507513.
Correspondent Tom Curley is attached to the Communications Staff, ‘Let’s Do It Global’, Volvo Ocean Race, Galway.
Issue dated: 15 June 2012
© Roscommon People