We know too well how easy it is to get caught up with the rat-race of work, and renting, and life in general, but it's vital to remember the truly important things in life.
Family, friends and a safe place to rest your head are just some of the things we can often all take for granted. That's why volunteering with people who may be in need of a helping hand is a lovely thing to do, and the best part is there's so many different ways to do it.
Whether your concern is animals, the elderly, people suffering from mental health issues or even the state of the environment, there's a suitable role for pretty much all of us to do when it comes to getting stuck in and doing our best to improve the world whatever little ways we can.
There's some great ideas below that will benefit you too. While it’s true that the more you volunteer, the more benefits you’ll experience, volunteering doesn’t have to involve a long-term commitment or take a huge amount of time out of your busy day.
Giving in even simple ways can help others those in need and improve your own health and happiness.
And who knows, maybe you'll be in need of a helping hand one day too.
1. Animal Welfare
2. Mental Health
Train to become a listening volunteer for Samaritans, or help with suicide intervention (in Limerick the group helps to patrol the bridges and the river, and identify and provide support to those in distress and maybe contemplating suicide.)
3. Elderly/ Active Retired
There's lots of opportunities to help the elderly, from reading to someone or just having a chat and helping with knitting once a week. Nursing homes often need people to help with gardening or teaching an older person how to get to grips with using a computer.
Help out as a Breakfast Runner to distribute food and warm cups of tea or coffee to the rough sleepers of Dublin, or meet up for a coffee and a chat as a community befriender to help someone ease back from supported living to independent.
Be a part of an ill child's special Make A Wish day, become a Homework Club volunteer to help kids out with their schoolwork, or offer up some time as a listening support for Childline. Joining you local Girl Guides or Boy Scouts as a mentor is also a fun way to get involved.
Provide support and education on a Gay Helpline, contact your nearest Gay Pride Parade organisers to see how you can help with promoting the festival, or become an LGBT information officer: helping to raise the awareness of LGBT issues.
8. Refugees/ Asylum Seekers
Use your gift of the gab and spend a few hours a week as a Conversation Tutor to help people brush up their English, or help the kids in an after-school homework club. Contact your nearest migrants rights centre to see how else you can help out.
9. Women's Groups
Be a personal support for a woman going through a domestic violence case by driving her to and from court, listen as a helpline volunteer, or if you have hairdressing or beauty skills your local domestic violence women's refuge would be happy to have you come in and spread some cheer.
10. Addiction and Recovery
Be an Outreach Worker, helping to deliver harm reduction information and support to drug using female sex workers, volunteer as a counselor to help people going through a 12-step programme. You can even help as a fitness instructor by planning a regime for healthy living with exercise and nutrition, or therapeutic art to encourage a positive environment.
Want to find out even more ways you can volunteer? Check out www.volunteer.ie.